Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Details of Thursday hearing for Kavanaugh accuser to be set

Details of Thursday hearing for Kavanaugh accuser to be set

Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford announced earlier Sunday that she was committed to appearing in an open hearing of the committee to testify about her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The New Yorker said 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine. Ford's lawyers continue to demand additional witnesses to be called to testify and have taken issue with the committee retaining its own counsel.

The White House and Kavanaugh have denied the allegation as a "smear", and the White House is standing by the president's nominee.

The White House is approaching Ford's potential testimony with trepidation, nervous that an emotional performance might not just damage Kavanaugh's chances but could further energize female voters to turn out against Republicans in November.

Graham promised a fair hearing in which both Ford and Kavanaugh "will be challenged" but added that "unless there's something more" to back up her accusation, then he's "not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this".

The former friend who was married to the male classmate alleged to be involved, and who signed the statement, said of Ramirez, "This is a woman I was best friends with". Kavanaugh is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee since 2005, according to NBC News polling - more unpopular than Harriet Miers, who was nominated by President George W. Bush but ultimately withdrew under criticism over her qualifications.

In his statement Sunday, Kavanaugh said he is looking forward "to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name - and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building-against these last-minute allegations".

"I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated", she said.

Michael Avenetti, a U.S. lawyer known for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her cases against President Trump, has alleged on Twitter that he is representing a third woman with "credible information" regarding Judge Kavanaugh and the alleged witness to Prof Ford's assault, Mark Judge.

Ramirez has called on the FBI to investigate her claims, as have Democratic Senate lawmakers - who first learned about the accusations last week, along with Senior Republican staffers.

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The new claim came hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to a hearing on Thursday after almost a week of uncertainty over whether Christine Blasey Ford would appear to testify about her earlier claim against Mr Kavanaugh.

Another woman has came forward and publicly accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct - claiming he shoved his penis in front of her face at a drunken dorm room party.

Kavanaugh described Ford's claim as a "completely and totally false allegation", and insisted that he has "never done anything like what the accuser describes to her or to anyone".

Even before the latest turns, the carefully negotiated hearing at the Senate judiciary committee with Kavanaugh and Ford carried echoes of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991.

Inside the Senate, only six of the 51 Republicans are women - none of them on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The framing at the moment is these two dichotomies of either completely exposing yourself to enormous amounts of personal and professional risk, or saying nothing", she said. Also, a new poll finds 50% of respondents, a record high, oppose Kavanaugh's nomination.

Other Republicans scoffed at Ford's latest offer questioning her willingness to accept the committee's request to tell her story.

While Ford has apparently gone into hiding after alleged threats and harassment, she has seen significant public support after she made the hard decision to publicly share her story. All three told investigators that they had no recollection of the evening in question, the committee said.

A spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asserted that some of the remaining conditions to be determined for Thursday's hearing are "non-negotiable".

But before long, Christine Blasey Ford knew better.

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