Trump questions credibility of Kavanaugh accuser, lashes out at Democrats

Geraldine Edwards
September 22, 2018

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley agreed late Friday night to allow the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault more time to decide whether to testify before Congress.

Grassley had earlier set a 10 p.m. Friday deadline for Ford's lawyers to tell the committee if she'll accept their terms for a Wednesday turn in the witness chair.

Her lawyers insisted on a hearing next Thursday in which the accused, Kavanaugh, would testify first and Ford would follow, without Kavanaugh in the room.

Meantime lawyers for Ford are asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule a hearing for her to be heard on Thursday, allowing time for Ford to make the drive from California to Washington D.C. Ford's friend, Kate Devarney, told CNN this week that Ford's fear of flying is directly related to her allegation of assault, and that an airplane is "the ultimate closed space where you can not get away".

If her attorneys can not come to a reasonable agreement, the Senate will vote on Monday to confirm Kavanaugh.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking at a gathering of evangelical voters in Washington, assured them Kavanaugh would be confirmed.

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On "America's Newsroom" on Friday, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Ford should be given the opportunity to go on the record in a congressional hearing, but Republicans will make sure that hearing is not delayed.

But it seemed nearly certain that Kavanaugh would testify last, a position attorneys believe is advantageous because it allows a rebuttal of any charges.

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

"President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual".

Her lawyers say the professor's life has been turned upside down, having received death threats and been forced out of her home. You have indicated that Dr. Ford has allegations that she would like to make in public and under oath.

A statement by Ford's lawyers called the deadline "arbitrary".

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Fellow Republican Susan Collins of ME said on Wednesday that she hopes Prof Ford "will reconsider and testify" on Monday. Ford, initially reluctant to go public, did so after reporters got wind of it and started asking questions.

"You're raising legitimate questions that are still on our mind", Grassley said, "and so these details are still being worked out". While many Republicans appear eager to quickly push through Kavanaugh's would-be lifetime appointment, many Democrats are calling for further examination of Ford's allegation before his nomination process continues.

"I was appalled by the president's tweet", she said in comments broadcast by CNN.

She told the newspaper that she discussed the alleged assault in 2012 when she attended couples therapy with her husband. I don't think it's unusual at all that she didn't tell anyone back them. 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. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!" Since the 2016 election campaign, Trump has been fending off allegations over his own behavior - including a recording from years ago saying that, being famous, he could grope women with impunity - and lawsuits.

The president's previous restraint this week, even as he repeatedly defended Kavanaugh and criticized Democrats, surprised many Republicans determined to salvage the nomination.

The EPPC president and Kavanaugh ally came under fire earlier in the week after he posted a conspiracy theory on Twitter claiming Ford mixed up the nominee with another classmate.

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