Attorney for Kavanaugh accuser says her client is willing to testify before...

Attorney for Kavanaugh accuser says her client is willing to testify before Senate panel

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to become an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to become an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

WASHINGTON — Christine Blasey Ford is willing to publicly testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an allegation of sexual misconduct she leveled against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Ford’s attorney told CNN Monday.

“The answer is yes,” Debra Katz, a Washington, D.C.-based civil rights attorney, told CNN’s “New Day.”

Kavanaugh said in a statement Monday he is willing to speak with the committee “in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation.”

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) along with Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said both Kavanaugh and Ford should testify before the committee. The three senators are considered potential “yes” votes.

The allegation against Kavanaugh became public last week. However, the public did not know Ford was Kavanaugh’s accuser until she came forward in an interview with the Washington Post that was published on Sunday.

Ford told the Post the allegation dates back to a high school party in the early 1980s in Montgomery County, Md.

Ford said Kavanaugh — then a student at Georgetown Prep in Maryland — attempted to force himself on her and when she screamed, Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. Kavanaugh was aided by a classmate who had helped escort Ford into a bedroom and who was present during the incident, she told the Post.

Ford said she escaped when a third classmate, Mark Judge, jumped on Kavanaugh and the other classmate. Ford said she locked herself in a bathroom and soon after left the house.

Ford, 51, a clinical psychology professor at University of Palo Alto in California, said she did not discuss the incident prior to a 2012 marriage counseling session she attended with her husband. Notes of the session Ford gave the Post do not mention Kavanaugh by name. However, Ford’s husband, Russell, said his wife did mention Kavanaugh by the name as the sessions progressed.

Following the Post report, Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), called on Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to postpone the vote on the nomination until members have had a chance to assess the merits of the allegation. Three Republicans — including Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who sits on the committee — seconded the request

Grassley’s office told media outlets Sunday that the committee is trying to arrange separate phone interviews with both Kavanaugh and Ford. Grassley’s office said the vote, which is scheduled for Thursday, will proceed as planned.

Kavanaugh denied the allegation in a statement the White House provided to the Post. The statement is identical to the one Kavanaugh provided media outlets last week.

Judge did not respond to the Post’s request for comment. Last week he told the Weekly Standard he does not recall the incident.

The New Yorker first reported a detailed account of the allegation on Friday.

The allegation was referred to the committee in a July letter Ford gave to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). Eshoo gave the letter to Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Feinstein announced Thursday that she had received a letter referencing an allegation against Kavanaugh but she did not provide specifics. Feinstein said she gave the letter to the FBI and asked that they investigate the matter.

Her announcement came six days after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing concluded.

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