Grassley demands correspondence between Ford legal team and Dem senators

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley demanded lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford turn over records of communications between their legal team and the offices of Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Mazie Hirono “in light of recently uncovered information.”

Grassley, R-Iowa, penned a letter to Ford’s legal team late Thursday, renewing requests for evidence. Grassley said the evidence in question had been referenced numerous times to support Ford’s allegations that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party 36 years ago.

“I urge you once again, now for the third time in writing, to turn over the therapy notes, polygraph materials, and communications with The Washington Post that Dr. Ford has relied upon as evidence,” Grassley wrote, following up on his initial letter sent on Oct. 2. “In addition to the evidence I requested in my October 2 letter, in light of recently uncovered information, please turn over records and descriptions of direct or indirect communications between Dr. Ford or her representatives and any of the following…”

Grassley requested communications between Ford’s legal team and senators and staffs—“particularly the offices of Senators Feinstein and Hirono,” and communications with the “alleged witnesses” identified by Ford—Mark Judge, Leland Keyser and Patrick “P.J.” Smith.

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Grassley also called for records of communications between Ford’s legal team and the other women leveling allegations against Kavanaugh—“Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, or their representatives.”

Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a dorm party while they were freshmen at Yale University. Swetnick, who is represented by porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, alleged Kavanaugh drugged the “punch” at parties in the early 1980s, and was involved in “gang” and “train” rapes.

It is unclear at this point what the “recently uncovered information” is.

Ford’s legal team has yet to respond to Grassley’s latest letter. The team only responded to the first letter on Wednesday.

“Dr. Ford is prepared to provide those documents to the FBI when she is interviewed,” Ford attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks wrote to Grassley on Oct. 3. “We have not yet heard from the FBI about scheduling an interview with her.”

Grassley blasted that response. The FBI completed its supplemental background investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, and the report was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The FBI did not interview Ford or Kavanaugh for its investigation.

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Republican senators, even swing votes like Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, noted the FBI did a “thorough” job with the investigation, and that there was no evidence in the report to corroborate Ford’s claims.

“The U.S. Senate doesn’t control the FBI. If you have an objection to how the FBI conducts its investigation, take it up with Director Wray. But don’t raise that objection as a reason not to respond to this Committee’s demand for relevant evidence,” Grassley wrote. “Even if the FBI never interviews Dr. Ford, or interviews her ten times, this Committee has a constitutional obligation to investigate Dr. Ford’s allegations, and that’s what we’ve been doing since we became aware of her allegations.”

Grassley said that Ford’s team’s refusal to provide evidence prevented the Senate from considering Ford’s allegations.

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“I don’t know what other interference we should draw from your refusal but that the withheld evidence does not support Dr. Ford’s allegations in quite the way you have claimed,” Grassley wrote.

The full Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh for a confirmation vote, slated for Saturday afternoon.

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