Christine Blasey Ford has accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request to testify on Ford’s allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, Ford’s attorneys told Senate Republicans on Saturday. Her decision came just ahead of a looming 2:30pm deadline: Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley had given Ford's lawyers until Saturday afternoon to decide whether she would proceed with testifying.
Still, her answer is nebulous because as on previous occasions, the exact terms and timing of her testimony remain unclear, as negotiations between Ford's lawyers and staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee remain ongoing.
In the email Ford's lawyers said she had accepted the panel's "request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week" even though the legal team said it found that many of the "aspects of the [Committee's] proposal... are fundamentally inconsistent with the Committee's promise of a fair, impartial investigation."
The email also didn't specifically say that Ford was agreeing to a Wednesday hearing date, which is what the Judiciary Committee has proposed. And Debra Katz, Ford's lawyer, explicitly said that "she is hopeful that we can reach an agreement on the details."
"This an ask to continue 'negotiations' without committing to anything. It's a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday," a senior White House official said Saturday quoted by The Hill.
For the past week, both sides had been wrangling over the exact day and conditions for Ford's testimony.
Senator Orin Hatch responded to the latest proposal, saying "this is exactly where we were on Monday morning— without agreeing to a date, time, and terms we are no closer to hearing from Dr Ford then we were when her lawyers said Dr. Ford was willing to testify during their media tour."
Worth noting that this is exactly where we were on Monday morning— without agreeing to a date, time, and terms we are no closer to hearing from Dr Ford then we were when her lawyers said Dr. Ford was willing to testify during their media tour— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 22, 2018
6 days agohttps://t.co/KUEKdeRegR
Commenting on the constant back and forth, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham said last week that "those who appear before a Senate Committee don’t set the terms. This is ludicrous and must be stopped. Terrible precedent."
Grassley has agreed to limit television coverage of next week’s hearing, provide adequate police security and timely breaks. But he has rejected a request from Ford’s lawyers that outside witnesses, such as Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, be called to testify.
The brief email is below.