Deadline Extended to Saturday for Dr Christine Ford, Kavanaugh Accuser

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 22, 2018US News

The deadline for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982, has been extended into Saturday, Sept. 22.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) originally set the deadline for Ford to decide whether she would appear and testify at a scheduled hearing on Sept. 24, for 10 a.m. on Friday.

After not getting a definitive response, Grassley twice extended the deadline. Just before 10 p.m., the new deadline, Ford’s lawyer sent a letter to Grassley that was made public. She claimed that Ford had not received proper time to decide whether to attend the hearing.

A source from the Senate Judiciary Committee told CNN that the deadline for Dr. Ford’s attorneys to respond is 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

Difficulty Getting Commitment

The hearing was first announced on Monday, giving Ford four days to decide, but her lawyer has attempted to negotiate terms with the Judiciary Committee. Ford wanted to testify after Kavanaugh, for instance, and have lawmakers subpoena Mark Judge, who she has accused of being present when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her. Lawmakers said no to both proposals.

Expressing his frustration over the tactics of Ford and her legal team, Grassley wrote late on Friday on Twitter, “Five times now we have granted extension for Dr. Ford to decide if she wants to proceed with her desire stated one week ago that she wants to tell Senate her story.”

“Dr. Ford if you changed your mind say so so we can move on. I want to hear your testimony,” Grassley wrote.

Grassley added in another missive that he feels yanked around by all the political tactics.

“With all the extensions we give Dr. Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor,” he said.

He also sent a third tweet addressing Kavanaugh, telling him, “She should decide so we can move on. I want to hear her. I hope you understand.”

Grassley did not name a new deadline but sources told Politico it is 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Ford May Not Testify

Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz had said in a letter to Grassley late Friday that the 10 p.m. deadline was “arbitrary.”

“Its sole purpose 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,” Katz said in the letter. “She has already been forced out of her home and continues to be subjected to harassment, hate mail, and death threats. Our modest request is that she be given an additional day to make her decision.”

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.

Katz said early in the week when the allegation first surfaced that Ford wanted to testify but later backtracked on that assertation. She has said that Ford feels rushed and is busy meeting with FBI agents over death threats. Ford’s legal team has also repeatedly asked for an FBI investigation into the alleged assault, even though it’s outside federal purview. Ford has also not provided a date, time, or specific house, making any criminal investigation unlikely.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the accusation and gave testimony to judiciary staff on Tuesday. Staff also obtained testimony from Judge and another person who Ford said was present at the house during the assault.

If Ford doesn’t testify on Monday, the public hearing would be canceled. Grassley scheduled a committee vote to be held if that happens, which would send Kavanaugh to the full Senate for approval to become a Supreme Court justice.

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