Chris Maddaloni via Getty Images Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Saturday attempted to discredit Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist in Northern California who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her around 1982.
Ford "accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual (alleged) misconduct next week", said a message from her lawyers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, US media reported.
Ford initially indicated she wanted to tell her story to the committee, but talks dragged on as her lawyers negotiated terms of her appearance.
In a statement on Sunday, Ford's lawyers Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich said their client "has agreed to move forward" with a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill. The proposal calls for Ford to testify first and Kavanaugh second.
The clinical psychology professor accused Judge Kavanaugh - Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee - of pinning her to a bed at a party in Maryland in the early 1980s when she was 15. "I don't remember whether we said anything to each other when I left his office", she said.
He also reinterred his full support for Judge Kavanaugh who he described as a "fine man, with an impeccable reputation".
Approval of Kavanaugh would cement conservative control of the Supreme Court and advance a White House effort to tilt the American judiciary farther to the right.
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While Kavanaugh did condemn sexual assault during the practice, and avoiding directly discrediting Ford, he did not come off well when the questions grew more probing, seemingly reluctant to take the pounding the faux committee members were presenting him with. "You know, when you take a look at this in honest terms, I believe that not only Judge Kavanaugh, but certainly Dr. Ford deserves a fair hearing". The Committee determines which witnesses to call, how many witnesses to call, in what order to call them, and who will question them.
Republicans have an 11-10 majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee, so one Republican refusing to back Kavanaugh could stall the nomination, at least briefly, FiveThirtyEight reports.
Ford's legal team has said she strongly prefers that her allegations are fully investigated before she testifies.
And, after a few days of relative quiet, President Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on Ford's character and questioned the credibility of her accusations. Grassley lamented in a tweet late Friday night that with all the deadline extensions, he felt like he was playing "2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra", and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was the conductor.
"Everything I know about Judge Kavanaugh goes against this allegation", he continued.
Kavanaugh and his wife also had received threats, a senior White House official said. "I'm shocked and appalled by the Republicans' refusal to wait 24 hours for a hearing and instead rush forward with a vote on Monday".
The pair of Democrats accused Trump of making "misleading statements" about whether the FBI should investigate Ford's claims against Kavanaugh. Given all the time that's passed, I wondered if perhaps Ford had actually been to such a party and suffered an assault, but it was with someone else and her mind was just filling in a blank with Kavanaugh's name.