Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify in Senate hearing

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week following allegations of sexual assault which he denies

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week following allegations of sexual assault which he denies

The details of her appearance have not been finalized, the lawyers said.

A woman who has accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify before a Senate panel, her lawyers said on Saturday.

Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, is still hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet several conditions. But the GOP also declined her other asks, including that Kavanaugh testify first and that the committee subpoena Mark Judge - a Kavanaugh friend who Ford says was present during the alleged incident - and call other potential witnesses to the hearing.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a high school party in the 1980s.

"Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week", said attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks in an email to Grassley's staff. During a Saturday call, the parties discussed the option of holding the hearing on Thursday and agreed to continue their negotiations on Sunday, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Grassley granted Ford's legal team's request for more time to decide, and then fumed about it in a series of tweets late Friday night.

If a final agreement on the details of a hearing is reached, it would set the stage for a dramatic, searing confrontation in the coming week.

"We look at this statement as a delay tactic", the official said.

The official was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity. He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not interested in investigating Ford's allegations, even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation routinely conducts background checks on presidential nominees. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, is shrugging off responsibility for the extension onto the Senate's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer.

Senate GOP leaders have argued that they have been very accommodating to Ford's requests, while Democrats say Republicans have bullied Ford with unreasonable deadlines.

The judiciary committee has struggled with how to proceed with Kavanaugh's nomination. The GOP is facing enormous pressure from its base of conservative leaders and voters to swiftly approve Kavanaugh, who would become the second of President Donald Trump's nominees to sit on the nation's highest court, before the November 6 election.

The lawmakers also noted, "Senate Republicans are attempting to make Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify on just a few days' notice - without having the Federal Bureau of Investigation follow up on her allegations and provide a report first".

The Senate panel must approve Kavanaugh's confirmation before a vote by the full Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 majority.

Kavanaugh had seemed to gain momentum among Republican senators this week, with growing numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those who'd voiced concern about Ford's charges stopping short of expressing opposition to Kavanaugh. Moderate female voters will be pivotal in many races in the elections and the #MeToo movement has elevated the political potency of how women alleging abuse are treated. She called Grassley's deadline "arbitrary" and said its "sole goal is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family".

Earlier Friday, Grassley rejected concessions Ford wanted if she is tell her story publicly before the committee. 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.

Confirming Kavanaugh's nomination would cement conservative control of the Supreme Court and advance a White House effort to tilt the American judiciary farther to the right.

Earlier, Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement.

Ford's accusations of Kavanaugh's behaviour 35 years ago and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have captivated the nation as the appeals court judge's confirmation hangs in balance.

Ford's supporters said McConnell's comments Friday morning proved that Republicans were not serious about hearing the California professor's side of the story and they were just inviting her to testify so as not to appear dismissive of her claims.

In an email to the firm's staff - sent two minutes after Ford responded to Grassley's invitation to testify - Bromwich said he was resigning because of objections within the firm to his representing Ford while employed there.

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