Debra Katz, the attorney for Christine Blasey Ford who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape, informed the U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that her client would not appear before the committee.
As you know, earlier this summer, Dr. Ford sought to tell her story, in confidence, so that lawmakers would have a fuller understanding of Brett Kavanaugh’s character and history. Only after the details of her experience were leaked did Dr. Ford make the reluctant decision to come forward publicly.
In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.
While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident. The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is “mistaken” and “mixed up.” While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the Committee and with law enforcement officials.
As the Judiciary Committee has recognized and done before, an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations. A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.
We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and Ranking Member Feinstein to discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health and security.
Grassley responded with the following statement:
Nobody should be subject to threats and intimidation, and Dr. Ford is no exception. These are serious allegations and Dr. Ford deserves to be heard.
Immediately after learning of Dr. Ford’s identity from news reports Sunday, committee staff started working to gather facts related to her claims. We’ve offered Dr. Ford the opportunity to share her story with the committee, as her attorney said yesterday she was willing to do. We offered her a public or a private hearing as well as staff-led interviews, whichever makes her most comfortable. The invitation for Monday still stands.
Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.
The FBI has already declined to investigate. What would they investigate? Mark Judge’s book as Katz suggested in an interview with CNN. We don’t know what date was, we don’t know where the event took place, and we don’t know at what party. This accusation is impossible to investigate 36 years later. (Which is why it is so important for victims to come forward when it happens.) This is why there is a statue of limitations. Also, what federal crime would they possibly investigate? There is none here. There is no corroborating evidence.
Katz also said that her client was willing to testify. That also includes taking questions. If she is unwilling to answer questions then how can the Senate proceed to discover the truth? An unwillingness to provide to answer questions or even be interviewed under oath by committee staff discredits her.
At this point, this is just an effort to stall a confirmation until after the midterms. They are not serious about the Senate discovering the truth. The Senate should proceed with a confirmation vote.