Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

U.S. Senate's Grassley sets Saturday deadline for Kavanaugh accuser: NY Times

U.S. Senate's Grassley sets Saturday deadline for Kavanaugh accuser: NY Times

Then through her lawyer, Ford requested a one-day extension calling the 10 pm deadline "arbitrary". That 10:00 p.m. Eastern deadline was imposed after Grassley's relenting from a 10:00 a.m. deadline to let the Judiciary Committee know if Ford would be testifying under oath on Monday. Ford's lawyers had requested that she go second.

The new demand comes after nearly a full business week since first being offered the opportunity to testify in any one of a number of ways, including in open committee and behind closed doors, as to her allegation that Kavanaugh and another teenager attacked and groped her at a high school party more than 35 years ago.

Steve Schmidt, a veteran political strategist who left the Republican Party this year, said Ford testifying before the Judiciary Committee is "the worst conceivable outcome" for the GOP, because all 11 Republicans on the panel are men.

So the situation could be as simple as this: Kavanaugh's got the votes in the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate, and gave Grassley the signal to stop messing around with this troublesome woman and her attempted rape allegations and move thing along.

Minutes after Trump's tweet on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played verbal hardball of his own, drawing a standing ovation when he assured a gathering of evangelical activists that the conservative Kavanaugh would soon be a justice.

"This was always going to be a difficult vote for red-state Democrats, and it's only become harder", said Alex Conant, a GOP strategist.

The scandal, which broke a week ago, has already delayed what previously seemed to be Kavanaugh's certain confirmation.

Trump's tweets follow an interview he gave to Fox's Sean Hannity on Thursday night in Las Vegas, where he appeared at a rally, in which the president first questioned why the Federal Bureau of Investigation hadn't been called at the time of the alleged assault (which would likely have been handled by local law enforcement).

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According to her attorneys, Ford and her family were forced to leave their home because she's been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats".

Attacking Ford, as Trump did, hardened the standoff between Ford and Senate Republicans into a risky - and now direct - confrontation.

The details of the alleged assault during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County, Maryland, were carried in the Washington Post last Sunday when Prof Ford made a decision to go public.

He said while Kavanaugh had agreed to testify, Ford, a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University, declined. 'I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!' If she doesn't respond, or says she won't testify, the Committee votes on Monday.

She told the newspaper that she discussed the alleged assault in 2012 when she attended couples therapy with her husband. That means asking questions of a nominee for the Supreme Court who has been credibly accused of sexual assault. I don't think it's unusual at all that she didn't tell anyone back them.

The aggressive posture reflected Trump's fear that time is running out to get his hand-picked judge confirmed - thereby tilting the Supreme Court firmly to the right for years to come - before November elections when Republicans risk losing control of Congress.

On Friday, the women speaking in defense of the nominee elaborated they were not trying to "impugn Ford's character or motives", but rather to voice support for a man they know and respect. We believe this will allow for informed questioning, will generate the most insightful testimony, and will help de-politicize the hearing.

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