Kavanaugh's confirmation on track as deadline looms for accuser

Source: Politico | September 20, 2018 | Burgess Everett and Elana Schor

The woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee must decide soon whether she’ll testify at Monday’s hearing.

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is back on track, with the GOP increasingly confident and Democrats decidedly alarmed that the Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed despite a sexual assault allegation against him.

Senate Republicans have given Christine Blasey Ford a firm deadline: Talk to the Judiciary Committee by Monday, whether in public or private, or risk not having your story told before the Senate votes. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he expects a response by Friday morning.

Ford’s attorneys have asked for an FBI investigation into the alleged assault in high school and more witnesses to appear before the panel, but the GOP has shrugged them off.

The Senate GOP says Ford’s lawyers are not corresponding with them other than a letter sent to the committee earlier this week. Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said on Fox News on Thursday that if the radio silence continues, “after the time we’ve spent on this, it’s time to move forward and get the votes in next week.”

Kavanaugh “says he is innocent. And we have to get this information out. If the person who has this information doesn’t provide it, then I think it’s time we face the reality that we need to move on. We have already spent 50 percent more time confirming Judge Kavanaugh than the last six judges. It’s time to get this to a decision,” Perdue said.

Senate Democrats have asked for Monday’s hearing to be delayed given the circumstances and Ford’s discomfort with the format. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) suggested that Ford should skip the “sham hearing,” and some of her colleagues are fretting that Kavanaugh will be confirmed whether Ford testifies or not.

“They’re going to get this guy on the court come hell or high water,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said in an interview. “I’m going to continue to raise my voice.”

Indeed, Grassley told committee Democrats in a Wednesday evening letter that the hearing will proceed. He said it was be a “disservice” to everyone to “delay this hearing any further” and said he will view additional complaints about the committee process “very skeptically.”

Grassley also put the blame on Democrats for the manner in which a letter Ford wrote about her story, given confidentially to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in late July, was leaked to the press. “This is but the latest — and most serious — of your side’s abuse of this confirmation process,” he said.

Mike Davis, Grassley’s chief counsel for nominations on the committee, tweeted that he interviewed Kavanaugh “under penalty of felony” if the nominee lied to him, while Ford’s attorneys “can’t find time between TV appearances.” Davis added that he is “unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

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