Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Chuck Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser has not yet agreed to testify

Trump feels 'terribly' for Kavanaugh; Dems want FBI probe Brett Kavanaugh's friend Mark Judge breaks silence about alleged sexual assault incident but says he will not testify
| 19 September, 2018, 20:49

President Donald Trump showered sympathy Tuesday on Brett Kavanaugh, his embattled Supreme Court nominee who is accused of sexual assault, as Senate Republicans and Democrats fought determinedly over who should testify at a high-stakes hearing on the allegation just six weeks before major congressional elections.

McConnell says he has "great confidence" in the Senate Judiciary Committee's GOP chairman, Chuck Grassley, who has said he will seek interviews with both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. A copy of the letter was posted on the committee's website. Debra S. Katz, Ford's attorney, said on NBC's "Today" show that Ford was ready to testify publicly to the Judiciary panel, but she did not respond Monday evening to efforts to learn whether she would appear.

Democrats, already fiercely opposed to the nominee, have also been seeking an FBI investigation, a request that Republicans have rebuffed.

"I think he's very much on track", Trump said of Kavanaugh. "More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes", Judge said in a letter to the panel.

"It's been hard for Blasey Ford over the years, [Blasey Ford] told [Rebecca] White, because the judge's name would come up as 'a super powerful guy and he might be a contender for a Supreme Court position one day'". The two appeared before a special Judiciary Committee hearing, told their separate stories, and Thomas ultimately was confirmed, 52-48.

"So it kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?"

Kavanaugh said in a statement distributed by the White House on Monday that he wanted to "refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity".

"The FBI's role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers", the statement said.

"This is not a man that deserves this", Trump said. She or her lawyer's political affiliation is worth noting, sure, but far from any sort of definitive proof of, well, anything.

In New Hampshire, state Representative Norman J. Silber made waves Monday when he published a letter in the Laconia Daily Sun newspaper, writing a mock confession that he shared a "closed-mouth kiss or two" with a girl during a high school game of spin the bottle. Blasey Ford asked for confidentiality, and the allegation was not made public - until this past weekend. When something smells. We all know this.


Just as a matter of clarity, Warren had disqualified the nominee even before she knew who it was.

"This is another attempt by Republicans to rush this nomination and not fully vet Judge Kavanaugh".

Trump blamed Democrats for the delay weeks before the US midterm congressional elections on November 6, but he said there was enough time to get his pick confirmed before the elections.

Many Democrats argue Judge should be invited to testify before the committee.

Other people at the party could testify about whether the party was similar to how Ford described it and whether Kavanaugh was there.

"A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to. Only then should the chairman set a hearing date".

The accusation against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford has drawn comparisons to Hill's allegations 27 years ago at Thomas' confirmation hearing. How and why Ford went from wanting to preserve her anonymity to being willing to publicly talk about the incident isn't a process that should be chalked up simply to politics. "Many of us are survivors ourselves", the letter reads.

Judge, a conservative writer, wrote memoirs titled "Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk" and "God and Man at Georgetown Prep".

The charge against Kavanaugh has left Trump and his Republicans in the precarious position of having to reject Ford's accusation without alienating women voters ahead of the midterm polls in which the Republicans could lose control of Congress.

The problem with the editorial (or I should say, the main problem, because there are several - which I'll lay out later) is this: It makes the argument for less transparency, less disclosure, less light.

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