Ford lawyers say she is open to testifying, but not Monday
Washington (CNN)Christine Blasey Ford opened the possibility she would testify before Congress about her accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
An email her lawyers sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee said Ford “would be prepared to testify next week” if the senators offer her “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”
The message came a day ahead of a 10 a.m. Friday deadline set by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa for Ford to decide whether she would appear before a hearing he set for Monday.
“As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home,” the email said. “She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”
Kavanaugh has denied the accusation he sexually assaulted Ford while drunk at a party in his high school years and said he would be willing to appear before the committee to refute it. He was at the White House on Thursday for the fourth consecutive day, as he prepares for possible testimony.
Debra Katz, one of Ford’s attorneys, said in Thursday’s email that she wanted to set up a call later that day to discuss conditions for Ford’s testimony.
The New York Times first reported the email.
Ford had said in a letter through her lawyers on Tuesday evening that she wanted an FBI investigation into the matter before she appeared before the Senate committee tasked with reviewing Kavanuagh’s nomination.
After Grassley rebuffed the request for an FBI investigation and President Donald Trump downplayed the notion, Ford’s attorney Lisa Banks said on Wednesday that “the rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed confidence on Thursday that Kavanaugh will ultimately be confirmed. McConnell responded affirmatively when asked if he had confidence that Kavanaugh would be confirmed, telling CNN, “Oh yeah.”
Full email to committee
Here is the full email from Ford’s lawyers:
“I would like to set up a call with you later today to discuss the conditions under which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would be prepared to testify next week. As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home. She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety. A hearing on Monday is not possible and the Committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event. Dr. Ford has asked me to let you know that she appreciates the various options you have suggested. Her strong preference continues to be for the Senate Judiciary Committee to allow for a full investigation prior to her testimony.”