An intensifying battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Elias Hubbard
September 23, 2018

Dr Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify about her sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday of next week, the accusers lawyers have revealed.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh denies allegations that he drunkenly assaulted Professor Christine Blasey Ford at a party while they were in high school 36 years ago.

Republicans have resisted all Democratic efforts to slow and perhaps block Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The latter tweet confused some Twitter users, who speculated the tweet was meant to be a direct text. Grassley lamented in a tweet late Friday night that with all the deadline extensions, he felt like he was playing "2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra", and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was the conductor. "I want to hear your testimony", Grassley wrote. He did not say how long he would wait for Ford "to decide if she wants to proceed". Aides to Grassley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is the fifth extension of a deadline for Ford to respond with a definitive answer. Before the 2016 presidential election, more than a dozen women accused Trump of making unwanted advances.

"I don't think you can delay it any longer", Mr. Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity at a rally in Nevada on Thursday. "It's not my normal approach" to be "indecisive", Grassley tweeted.

Earlier this week, Ford and Democrats called for a FBI investigation into her allegations against Kavanaugh before moving ahead. Team Ford could meet his ultimatum by providing a response before 10:00 which she did not decline to testify.

The committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford, mindful of the election-season impression that could be left by men trying to pick apart a woman's assertion of a sexual attack.

The previous deadline for resolving the disputes was set at 10pm on Friday but Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, rejected it as arbitrary and a bullying tactic.

Lawyers for Ford have said she wants to testify before a Senate panel next week, but only if her safety is ensured.

Grassley originally offered Ford four choices to air her testimony-a public hearing, a private hearing, a public testimony with committee staff, or a private testimony with committee staff.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence joined the chorus of renewed Republican support for Kavanaugh on Saturday, telling a crowd of around 2,000 conservative activists at the Values Voters Summit that Kavanaugh "is a man of integrity, with impeccable credentials and a proven judicial philosophy" and that he would soon be confirmed.

McConnell's goal has been to confirm Kavanaugh by October 1, the start of the Supreme Court term.

The President previously had avoided naming Professor Ford or plainly casting doubt on her account.

He also sent a third tweet addressing Kavanaugh, telling him, "She should decide so we can move on". Many Republicans are concerned about the optics of an all-male GOP panel questioning Ford.

The committee chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley (L) and ranking member Sen.

He also refused to call additional witnesses.

She claims Judge Kavanaugh, then 17, tried to remove her clothes and put his hand over her mouth when she started to scream. Ford does not enjoy being in enclosed spaces, her friends told the network. "In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court", McConnell said to applause.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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