An attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, said Thursday that her appearing at a hearing on Monday to detail her claims is "not possible" but that she could testify later in the week. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., left, is applauded by demonstrators as the arrive to speak to reporters in support of professor Christine Blasey Ford, who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual attack, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.
While Republicans on the Judiciary Committee had originally planned to hold a hearing with testimony from Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford on Monday, Blasey Ford demurred on Wednesday and requested the FBI investigate the alleged sexual assault before she spoke with the committee.
Grassley declined an earlier request by Ford to have the FBI investigate her allegation against Kavanaugh.
She spoke with staff for the Judiciary Committee's chair and ranking member and laid out their requests in order for Ford to testify next week, including that Kavanaugh not be in the same room.
This isn't the first time allegations have come up during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Democratic senators, pointing to the highly charged Anita Hill hearings in October 1991, have defended Ford's request to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation do its own probe before she testifies.
"Why isn't Judge Kavanaugh asking for an FBI investigation if (he has) nothing to hide?"
Ford's attorneys issued a statement saying there are multiple witnesses that need to be interviewed, not just Ford and Kavanaugh. They would like a he-said-she-said scenario, because you know what happens in those scenarios?
Which would make Democrats very happy, even if - especially if - Kavanaugh is confirmed.
However, they said that she is open to negotiating a new date - under strict conditions, given the increasingly nasty atmosphere around the case. "She is going to be accountable to the American public for what she says". Because Ford's accusation is already public, Grassley argued that it was appropriate for the Senate to step in with their own investigation as lawmakers did when the Hill allegation first became public.
A handful of pivotal senators have yet to disclose how they will ultimately vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, including Republican Sens.
"Let me just say to begin with that I had the opportunity to meet Judge Kavanaugh before the president made a decision, and to review his record", Pence told Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council on his Washington Watch radio program. With no female Republicans on the committee, the senators considered using their female aides to question Blasey at the hearing.
"We already had a hearing, " Cornyn said.
That being said, as President Trump has said over the last several days, with the allegations that have emerged, it's important that we give it time, that we hear from both sides, and we have every confidence that Senator Grassley and the Republicans in the Senate will handle these allegations properly. A flood of anti-Kavanaugh protesters also descended on Capitol Hill Thursday while more Senate offices reported receiving threats related to the nomination.