US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser has yet to confirm she will testify against him at a blockbuster public hearing, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday.
“We have reached out to her [camp] in the last 36 hours three or four times by e-mail, and we have not heard from them, and it kind of raises the question, ‘Do they want to come to the public hearing or not?’ ” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” according to Fox News.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins — considered a potential swing vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination — also called it “puzzling” that accuser Christine Blasey Ford has yet to confirm she’ll be there Monday.
“That’s very puzzling to me,” she said of the lack of communication from Ford’s camp to the Senate, according to CNN.
“I’ve said from the beginning that these are very serious allegations and she deserves to be heard,” said the senator from Maine. “She is now being given an opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions, and I really hope that she doesn’t pass up that opportunity.”
Grassley also said Ford and Kavanaugh were the only witnesses scheduled to testify at the planned hearing — and suggested it wouldn’t be held if Ford declined to attend.
“What would be the purpose of the hearing if Dr. Ford doesn’t want to respond?” Grassley said.
Grassely scheduled the hearing — and postponed a scheduled Thursday committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination — after Ford’s lawyer Monday
said Ford was “willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth.”
Ford, a California psychology professor, claims that Kavanaugh sexually attacked her during a party in 1982 when they were both high-school students in suburban Maryland.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the accusation and Monday said he was “willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the
committee deems appropriate to refuse this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, didn’t return a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Kate Sheehy
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