Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford moved 3000 miles to reinvent her life. It wasnt far enough.

Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford moved 3000 miles to reinvent her life. It wasn\t far enough.
Woman who says Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her agrees to testify
WASHINGTON — The woman accusing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault has accepted a Senate committees request to tell her side next week but Christine Blasey Ford wants to resume negotiations over the exact terms of her appearance, her lawyers said Saturday.

It was not immediately clear whether the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee would agree to more talks with Fords team. Also unclear was when she might come to Capitol Hill and she was offering to speak in a public session or a private one. The committee wanted her to appear Wednesday, but she prefers her earlier request for Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Saturdays letter from Blaseys lawyers, Debra S. Katz and Lisa Banks, also indicated that Michael R. Bromwich, a Washington lawyer and former inspector general of the Justice Department, had joined Blaseys legal team. Bromwich is also at the centre of another leading storyline in Washington: He represents Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director, who was fired this year and witnessed many of the most sensitive episodes of the bureaus Russia investigation.

Her lawyers letter to the committees GOP majority was released just at the 2:30 p.m. deadline set by the chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, to respond to the panels latest offer. Grassley, R-Iowa, had set a possible Monday vote to decide whether to recommend Kavanaughs nomination to the full Senate.

Blaseys accusations, coming just days before the Judiciary Committee was initially set to vote on Kavanaugh, have rocked official Washington, evoking memories of the 1991 confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas, who was accused of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill. They have further energized Democrats, and women particularly, in a midterm election in which Republicans are struggling to court the female vote.

As Republicans were considering their next move in private talks Saturday, they also made it clear they viewed Fords offer as a way to delay voting on U.S. President Donald Trumps pick for the court.

The intense attention on Blaseys accusation continued to reverberate on Capitol Hill on Saturday in unexpected ways. A communications adviser to Grassley, who had joined the Judiciary Committee temporarily to help shape messaging around Kavanaughs confirmation, stepped down from his position after NBC News raised questions about an accusation that he sexually harassed a co-worker in a previous political job.

A senior official at the White House said the letter amounted to "an ask to continue negotiations without committing to anything. Its a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday." The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the Senate negotiations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House views Fords potential testimony with trepidation, nervous that an emotional performance might not just damage Kavanaughs chances but could further energize female voters to turn out against Republicans in November against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.

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Moreover, the West Wing aides who had urged Trump to remain muted in his response to the accusations worried about how the president might react if she ended up partaking in an hourslong, televised hearing. In a single tweet Friday, Trump broke his silence to cast doubt on Fords story in ways Republicans had been carefully trying to avoid.

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Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify in Senate hearing

Trump mused to confidants that the "fake" attacks against his nominee were meant to undermine his presidency, according to a White House official and a Republican close to the White House. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.

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Other Republicans scoffed at Fords willingness to accept the committees request to tell her story.

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The lawyers for Ford wrote that she "accepts the Committees request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaughs sexual misconduct next week."

Grassley continued, this time addressing Kavanaugh: “Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. Its not my normal approach to b indecisive.”

Attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said many aspects of Grassleys latest offer were "fundamentally inconsistent" with the committees promise of a "fair, impartial investigation." They said they remained disappointed by the "bullying" that "tainted the process." Yet they remained "hopeful that we can reach agreement on details."

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley appeared to fume on Friday night about his decision to grant Christine Blasey Fords attorneys request for more time to decide whether shell speak to lawmakers about her claim that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago.

It was unclear whether Grassley would permit more negotiations Saturday, with patience among Republicans is running thin. 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 Trumps nominees to sit on the nations highest court, before the Nov. 6 election.

A spokesman for GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a committee member, tweeted that Ford "agreed to nothing. She rejected the committees offer to testify Wednesday."

Fords attorneys sent a letter to the committee on Friday ahead of an initial 10 p.m. ET deadline to ask for more time. The lawyer, Debra Katz, scolded the senators for displaying what she called a “cavalier” attitude toward a “sexual assault survivor.”

Earlier Saturday amid the latest deadline standoff Vice-President Mike Pence called Kavanaugh "a man of integrity with impeccable credentials." He expressed confidence that Republicans "will manage this confirmation properly with the utmost respect for all concerned" and said he expected Kavanaugh to join the high court soon.

The sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh: what we know

Grassley had set a Friday night deadline for the 51-year-old California psychology professor to agree to the committees latest offer setting terms for her appearance. Grassley said that if she missed that deadline, he would scrap the hearing and his committee would vote on sending Kavanaughs nomination to the full Senate.

“Dr. Ford accepts the committees request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaughs sexual misconduct next week,” Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, Fords attorneys, said in a statement.

Fords lawyers asked for another day. In a tweet aimed at Kavanaugh shortly before midnight, Grassley said he was giving them additional time.

It was not immediately clear whether the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee would agree to more talks with Fords team. Also unclear was when she might come to Capitol Hill and she was offering to speak in a public session or a private one. The committee wanted her to appear Wednesday, but she prefers her earlier request for Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

"She shld decide so we can move on. I want to hear her. I hope u understand. Its not my normal approach to b indecisive," Grassley wrote.

Attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said many aspects of Grassleys latest offer were "fundamentally inconsistent" with the committees promise of a "fair, impartial investigation." They said they remained disappointed by the "bullying" that "tainted the process." Yet they remained "hopeful that we can reach agreement on details."

Fords accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left the appeals court judges confirmation in jeopardy. And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence also has drawn intensified attention to the .MeToo movements focus on sexual abuse.

Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied doing this and said he wants to appear before the committee as soon as possible to clear his name.

Fords accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left the appeals court judges confirmation in jeopardy. And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence also has drawn intensified attention to the .MeToo movements focus on sexual abuse.

In backing away from his deadline, Grassley underscored the sensitivity with which Senate Republicans have tried handling Ford. 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.

“Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr. Ford to decide if she wants to proceed (with) the statement she made last week to testify to the Senate,” Grassley wrote on Twitter. “She should decide so we can move on. I want to hear her. I hope you understand. Its not my normal approach to be indecisive.”

In requesting another day to decide, Katz called Grassleys original deadline "arbitrary" and said 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."

The Republican-controlled Senate judiciary panel has struggled on how to proceed with Kavanaughs nomination. Democrats have demanded more time for scrutiny, and Republicans want to move ahead quickly with a confirmation vote in an increasingly volatile political climate ahead of congressional elections on Nov. 6.

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

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump said. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!

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Grassley turned down Fords request that only senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions. The committees 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 womans assertion of a sexual attack.

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He also rejected her proposal that she testify after Kavanaugh, a position lawyers consider advantageous because it gives them a chance to rebut accusations.

Video: Will the Senate Judiciary Committee agree to Christine Blasey Fords demands?

Grassleys stance reflected a desire by Trump and GOP leaders to usher the 53-year-old Kavanaugh onto the high court by the Oct. 1 start of its new session and before the November elections, when Democrats are mounting a robust drive to grab congressional control.

Friday was the latest in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court seemed a sure bet until Ford emerged last weekend and provided details of the alleged assault.

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.

Trumps searing reproach defied the Senate Republican strategy, and the advice of White House aides, of not disparaging Ford while firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.

The presidents tweet brought blistering rejoinders from Democrats and a mix of silence and sighs of regret from his own party. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who hasnt declared support for Kavanaugh, called the remark "appalling."

Grassley rebuffed other Ford requests, including calling additional witnesses. Ford wants an appearance by Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford asserts was at the high school party and in the room where the incident occurred.

Grassley consented to other Ford demands, including that she be provided security and that Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies.

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Fords request for security comes after her lawyers said she has relocated her family due to death threats.

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In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is surrounded by photographers as he stands with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley R-Iowa, during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Bourg/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Video: I felt that it was my fault: A rape survivor shares her story of speaking out

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Video: I felt that it was my fault: A rape survivor shares her story of speaking out