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Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer raises stakes ahead of hearing on claims against Brett Kavanaugh

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Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme
Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexually
assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in the 1980s. He has denied
the allegation.


J.
Scott Applewhite/AP



  • The attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old
    research psychologist and professor who accused Judge Brett
    Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s, called for
    additional witnesses to testify at a hearing planned for
    Monday.
  • Attorney Lisa Banks argued that her client, a mother of
    two teenagers, was “thrust into the public spotlight” after
    going public with her allegation against Kavanaugh, President
    Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
  • One key witness in the allegation appeared reluctant to
    discuss the incident or has no memory of it.

The attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research
psychologist and professor who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of
sexually assaulting her in the 1980s, claimed that the Senate
Judiciary Committee’s hearing scheduled for Monday felt rushed
and called for additional witnesses to testify.

Attorney Lisa Banks argued that her client, a mother of two
teenagers, was “thrust into the public spotlight” after going
public with her allegation against Kavanaugh, President Donald
Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Ford said Kavanaugh was “stumbling drunk” during a small party in
high school, at which he pinned her to a bed, groped her over her
clothes, and covered her mouth with his hand when she started to
scream.

After coming forward and having her identity revealed, Ford has
reportedly moved out of her house and hired private security
after receiving death threats and vulgar messages on social
media.

“Dr. Ford was reluctantly thrust into the public spotlight only
two days ago,” a statement from Banks said. “She is currently
unable to go home, and is receiving ongoing threats to her and
her family’s safety.”

“Fairness and respect for her situation dictate that she should
have time to deal with this,” Banks said. “She continues to
believe that a full non-partisan investigation of this matter is
needed and she is willing to cooperate with the Committee.”

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the
Judiciary Committee, gave Ford’s lawyers a Friday deadline to
answer whether or not their client will testify.

Grassley noted he had offered Ford several venues for her
testimony, including a public or private setting, or an option
for her to speak to his staffers in California, where she lives,
according to committee spokesman
Garrett Ventry
.

Kavanaugh, who has categorically denied the claims, said he was
willing to testify.

While Republican lawmakers are willing to hear testimony from
Ford, they have demurred Democratic lawmakers and Ford’s request
for an FBI investigation. A vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation was
delayed this week. Some Republicans have urged their colleagues
to get past Ford’s allegations and proceed with a vote.

Banks said the “rush to a hearing is unnecessary,” and called for
the Judiciary Committee to summon additional witnesses from the
alleged incident.

“However, the Committee’s stated plan to move forward with a
hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith
investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have
appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding,”
Banks said in the statement.

Key witnesses have appeared reluctant to discuss the incident, or
claimed to have no memory of it. Mark Judge, a former high school
classmate of Kavanaugh’s who became implicated in the allegation,
has signaled he is unwilling to appear before the Judiciary
Committee.

It was unclear whether Ford would testify, regardless of whether
the FBI makes the unlikely move to launch a formal investigation
into the allegation, or whether the Judiciary Committee calls for
more witnesses. Ford’s attorneys were not immediately available
for comment on Wednesday evening.

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