US: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly

Judge vehemently denies allegations of sexual assault, says he is also willing to testify before Senate

US: Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify publicly

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON

The woman who accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a violent sexual assault is willing to testify before the Senate, her lawyer said Monday. 

Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her story Sunday, detailing a high school encounter from more than three decades ago in which she says Kavanaugh and a friend — both of whom she says were drunk — forced her into a room during a party in suburban Maryland. 

Kavanaugh and the other individual then put on loud music before Kavanaugh began groping and attempting to undress her. Kavanaugh, Ford said, put his hand over her mouth to silence her after she yelled, prompting her to fear for her life.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said in an interview with the Washington Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford, who is now a professor in California, says she successfully escaped the room when Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Preparatory School classmate, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them — sending all three tumbling. 

The allegations first came to light when Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly confirmed she handed over a letter detailing sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh to federal investigators. She did not name Ford, and her identity was unknown until she came forward in the newspaper article. 

Debra Katz, Ford’s lawyer, said during an in a round of interviews Monday, her client would be willing to discuss her allegations with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Katz said, however, that Ford has not yet been asked to make an appearance. 

Ford’s story has roiled Kavanaugh’s nomination to the top court and cast uncertainty on his confirmation prospects. At least one Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff Flake, has said he would be uncomfortable moving the nomination ahead until the matter is resolved.

A committee vote on his nomination planned for Thursday has now been cast in doubt. 

Kavanaugh called the allegations “completely false” and offered to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee “in any way the Committee deems appropriate” in a statement released by the White House. 

“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone,” he said. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.” 

Following Ford’s offer to testify, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said “anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard.”

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” he said in a statement. “We are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”

If Kavanaugh receives Senate confirmation, one-third of the Supreme Court’s male justices would have been accused of sexual assault.

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