Kavanaugh’s accuser just issued an ultimatum to Republicans over her Senate testimony

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With Professor Christine Ford, the woman who has accused Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape and sexual assault at a high school party when they were teenagers, forced into hiding after receiving death threats—presumably from Trump supporters who laughably call themselves “pro-life”—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is now supporting Ford’s request for a complete FBI investigation of the incident before testifying before the committee about her experience.

Senator Feinstein went on Twitter to denounce the Republicans in the Senate for downplaying the seriousness of the allegations and the veracity of Professor Ford’s claims.

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The Senator’s reference to Anita Hill’s column refers to an Op-Ed that Ms. Hill wrote today in The New York Times explaining how the committee can and needs to do better than when she testified at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas back in 1991 after accusing Thomas of pervasive sexual harassment while they were work colleagues.

Part of Hill’s prescription for conducting a fair hearing for both Kavanaugh and Professor Ford includes the admonition to “not rush these hearings.” Yet Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is doing everything he can to keep the confirmation hearings and the eventual vote in the full Senate from being delayed until after the midterm elections.

Although he postponed Thursday’s confirmation vote to accommodate a hearing originally scheduled for next Monday where both Kavanaugh and Ford would testify, Grassley did so without consulting Ford on the schedule at all. He and his Republican colleagues have rejected any agreement to postpone the hearings further to allow for a full FBI investigation into the incident before Professor Ford testifies as she has requested through her lawyers in a letter to the Committee.

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“A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” lawyers for For, said in a letter to the panel late Tuesday.

Ford’s attorney, Lisa Banks, told CNN today that the issue was too important given the lifetime tenure of Supreme Court Justices, to be railroaded through in a hurry.

Senator Feinstein declared in a series of tweets her full support for Professor Ford’s request for the weight of a full federal investigation to be brought upon the matter before she sits in front of the committee to testify.

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Senator Feinstein also condemned the threats of violence that have been made against Professor Ford since her identity was revealed on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, The Washington Post is reporting that Kavanaugh supporters are circling the wagons and holding lengthy strategy sessions to try to ram the nomination through to confirmation.

“Kavanaugh and White House counsel Donald McGahn, along with other White House officials, met Monday and Tuesday for hours, monitoring news coverage and talking through their strategy, as Kavanaugh personally called senators to press his case,” the newspaper said.

With Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate over how to proceed, Professor Ford has at this point not yet agreed to testify at Senator Grassley’s Monday hearings in the absence of a commitment to a full FBI investigation. This likely suits Republicans just fine as they can blame Professor Ford for deciding not to testify while ignoring her legitimate calls for a thorough inquiry by professional investigators before being called up before some of the very same Senators who failed so badly in their handling of Anita Hill’s testimony.

Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

Some original reporting in this story by Seung Min KimRobert Costa, 

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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