Lindsey Graham Says Ford Testimony Won’t Change His Vote

Blasey Ford's Friend: No Recollection of Party

Battle lines drawn for Senate showdown on Trump court nominee

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is asking for more time to make a decision about testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In an email to the committee, lawyers for Ford said that while she has agreed to "provide first-hand knowledge of Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct", they are disappointed "with the leaks and bullying that have tainted the process".

Ford's lawyers and the Republican leadership of the Judiciary Committee reached a tentative agreement Saturday evening for her and Kavanaugh to testify Thursday about her allegation, multiple sources familiar with the talks told ABC News.

Ford, A California professor went public with her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in the early 1980s in a September 16 article by the Washington Post.Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who teaches at Palo Alto University, alleged that Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk" - corralled her in a bedroom.

After Grassley set a hearing for Monday, Democrats demanded a delay to allow time for the FBI to investigate Ford's claim.

Trump's searing reproach defied the Senate Republican strategy, and the advice of White House aides, of not disparaging Ford while firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.

A senior official at the White House said the letter amounted to "an ask to continue "negotiations" without committing to anything".

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in the Maryland suburbs in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh has said he wanted to testify before the committee to refute the allegation, and Ford's attorneys have told the committee that she has accepted their request for testimony.

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Three other people, two of whom are Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, have also denied any knowledge of the alleged assault.

Had Ford's lawyers not responded to the proposal or if Ford decided not to testify by the deadline, Grassley said, the committee would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Monday.

Americans generally give politicians in Washington largely negative ratings on their handling of the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Earlier this week, Ms Ford's lawyers said that she would not appear before the Senate until the FBI had investigated the allegations.

Ford also requested that at no point during any potential hearing would she be in the same room as Kavanaugh.

"Its sole objective is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family", Katz said in a statement.

The Senate Judiciary Committee offered to Professor Ford's testimony on Wednesday, but it appears that her legal team believes this process to be unfair. Sen. Republican women support Kavanaugh's nomination, want a vote on him soon and don't think the FBI should investigate.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence joined the chorus of renewed Republican support for Kavanaugh on Saturday, telling a crowd of around 2,000 conservative activists at the Values Voters Summit that Kavanaugh "is a man of integrity, with impeccable credentials and a proven judicial philosophy" and that he would soon be confirmed.

After that deadline passed without a resolution, Grassley had issued a statement. She has said that Ford feels rushed and is busy meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents over death threats.

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