Ford wants a full FBI investigation before talking to the Senate.
Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school, said she wanted to testify in front of the Senate.
The Republicans immediately made it known they wanted to hear from her. After all, these are serious accusations and she, along with all victims, deserve to be heard.
But Ford has not accepted the invite and now wants an FBI investigation before she testifies. Sen. Chuck Grassley said that if she doesn’t show up on Monday, the Senate will move on and schedule a confirmation vote for Kavanaugh.
Key Republican Senators on Track With Kavanaugh Confirmation
Unless Ford shows up on Monday, Kavanaugh looks to an easy confirmation in the Senate as those Republicans who voiced doubt earlier have gone back to pushing for the confirmation vote.
This includes Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. Jeff Flake. From The Daily Mail:
Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who called for a delay on the Kavanaugh confirmation vote after Ford went public on Sunday, is now saying she should testify in Monday’s scheduled hearing or the vote should proceed.
‘After learning of the allegation, Chairman @ChuckGrassley took immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private. Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,’ he tweeted late Tuesday night.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake was the first lawmaker to put Kavanaugh’s confirmation in doubt when he said Sunday he was ‘not comfortable voting yes’ on President Donald Trump’s nominee until the Senate Judiciary Committee heard from Ford.
He is now pleading with Ford to speak to lawmakers – either in public or private.
‘When Dr. Ford came forward, I said that her voice should be heard and asked the Judiciary Committee to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. It did so. I now implore Dr. Ford to accept the invitation for Monday, in a public or private setting. The committee should hear her voice,’ he tweeted Tuesday night.
Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski still have not committed to voting for Kavanaugh.
Grassley Sends New Letter to Ford’s Attorneys
NEW: @ChuckGrassley to Dr. Ford’s attorneys: “I reopened the hearing b/c I believe anyone who comes forward w/ allegations of sexual assault has a right to be heard. You stated repeatedly that Dr. Ford wants to tell her story. I sincerely hope she will accept my invite to do so.” pic.twitter.com/p76mjk24B2
— Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) September 19, 2018
Kavanaugh’s Wife Brings Cupcakes to Reporters Outside House
I know Kemberlee and I would do this. Ashley Kavanaugh brought out cupcakes to reporters who have camped outside of their house. From PJ Media:
On Tuesday night, the press added yet another indignity to the family of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. CBS News reporter Kathryn Watson revealed that reporters had besieged the family home of Kavanaugh. The judge’s wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, had a very classy response to this situation.
“Per our CBS News cameraman at Kavanaugh’s house, his wife handed out cupcakes from Sprinkles to any of the photogs and producers who wanted them,” Watson tweeted.
Jim Treacher wanted to know why reporters have camped out at the Kavanaugh home and Drew Savicki from Decision Desk told him, “That’s what reporters do.”
What do they think is going to happen at his house?
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) September 18, 2018
PJ Media continued:
Savicki, thinking himself all sophisticated and in the know, thought Treacher just didn’t get the concept. “It’s called a media stakeout. You wait outside their house to track your subject’s movements,” he responded.
Treacher — rightly — did not dignify this response. He merely retweeted his own tweet asking “What do they think is going to happen at his house?”
That is the key question. Why would the media stakeout Kavanaugh’s house?
Morning Joe Supports Republicans Moving Forward With Kavanaugh
When you’ve lost Morning Joe….
A panel on the morning show took the side of the Republicans except for Nick Confessore of The New York Times. From Newsbusters:
MIKE BARNICLE: Don McGahn, White counsel, could call the FBI this morning and ask that an investigation be conducted — and I don’t know what they’d investigate at this time —
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I was going to say, Mike: investigation of what? What is this: 35, 36 years later?
BARNICLE: That’s the point, Joe.
. . .
SUSAN DEL PERCIO: If she [Ford] is not willing to be heard on Monday, what right does she have to delay this, or ask for the FBI investigation, which you so right point out will not show anything different than the fact testimony she’s going to offer?
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Everyone said, let her speak! Let her testify! Give her a moment to have her voice, let’s hear her story. I think she even said she would testify. So, I guess some could argue, and some Republicans could argue, this is moving the goalpost.
Dianne Blames Republicans…
Uh, okay. You’re the one who had the letter since July and didn’t even bring it up during your closed door meeting with Kavanaugh. As we have shown, Republicans have reached out to Ford and her lawyer.
But even Feinstein doesn’t know what’s “truthful.” From Fox News:
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday blamed Republicans for failing to get in touch with Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford ahead of a planned hearing on Monday, even as GOP leaders said they’ve made repeated attempts to reach out, and accused Feinstein of refusing to help.
Feinstein, who has vouched for Ford’s credibility, also admitted she could not verify that Ford’s allegations were entirely true.
“I have no say, I’m the lead Democrat. … I think it’s really too bad that no one called her, or called her lawyer,” Feinstein, D-Calif., told Fox News on Tuesday. “My understanding is she got emails. This is a woman who has been profoundly impacted by this. Now, I can’t say everything’s truthful. I don’t know. But I do know that you’ve got to contact her lawyers.” Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment Tuesday.
Former Classmate Denies Being at Party
Kavanaugh’s former classmate Patrick J. Smythe denies being at the party. From CNN:
Patrick J. Smyth attended Georgetown Prep — an all-boys school in North Bethesda, Maryland — alongside Kavanaugh. Both men graduated in 1983. Smyth signed a letter this summer, before the allegations against Kavanaugh were made public, testifying that Kavanaugh “is singularly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” along with dozen other of the school’s alumni.
Eric Bruce, who is representing Smyth, authored a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the committee. CNN has obtained a copy of the letter, which includes a quote from Smyth denying seeing any “improper conduct” from Kavanaugh.
“I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth says in his statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
“Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women. To safeguard my own privacy and anonymity, I respectfully request that the Committee accept this statement in response to any inquiry the Committee may have.”
Trump: I’ll Have to “Make a Decision” if Ford Gives “Credible Testimony”
From Fox News:
President Trump said Wednesday he would have to “make a decision” about the future of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court if accuser Christine Blasey Ford gives “credible testimony” about her allegation.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president said if Ford appears before the committee “and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision.”
“If she shows up, that would be wonderful,” Trump said. “If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”
Yet it’s not clear if the California professor who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 35 years ago will ultimately accept an invitation to testify on Capitol Hill, amid an impasse with Republicans, who have invited her to document her claims Monday.
Ford Demands Full FBI Investigation
That hasn’t stopped Ford and others from demanding an investigation. From Reuters:
In a letter to the committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Ford’s attorneys said an FBI investigation needed to come first.
“A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” the lawyers wrote. A copy of the letter was posted on the committee’s website. (bit.ly/2OAJWD0)
2018-09-18 Blasey Ford to G… by on Scribd
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Grassley responds to letter from Christine Ford’s lawyer: pic.twitter.com/ENJRtlS8gj
— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 19, 2018
After learning of the allegation, Chairman @ChuckGrassley took immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private. Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) September 19, 2018
Ford wanted a hearing and she got one. I guess she wasn’t expecting the Republicans to be so accommodating? The Republicans said she could testify in public and even offered to have a third party to the questioning. They also said she didn’t have to sit anywhere near Kavanaugh.
They tried to use Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill as an excuse. From Fox News:
The lawyers, Debra Katz and Banks, said historical precedent supported the delay, echoing comments by Feinstein, who on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that the FBI had also “investigated Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas,” the Supreme Court justice.
However, Thomas was accused of sexually harassing Hill while both worked at federal agencies, in potential violation of federal law; Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual harassment that would fall well outside of any applicable federal or state statute of limitations because the alleged episode occured decades ago.
A law enforcement agent told Fox News that “[I]t’s totally inappropriate for someone to demand we use law enforcement resources to investigate a 35-year-old allegation when she won’t go under oath and can’t remember key details including when or where it happened.”
Plus it’s not a federal crime.
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