Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a bold ultimatum on Tuesday to the woman who claims Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her nearly 40 years ago: testify before the Senate on Monday or the hearing is off.
During a radio interview Tuesday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Grassley said he has sent numerous requests to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh, to appear before the Senate on Monday to testify about what she claims happened to her nearly four decades ago.
Grassley scheduled a hearing for Monday and has invited both Kavanaugh and his legal team as well as Ford and her representatives to testify before Congress and lawmakers about the alleged incident in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh has accepted the invitation and said he is anxious to answer questions and clear his name. Ford and her legal team have yet to respond to Grassley’s numerous requests to testify.
Grassley made it clear on Tuesday that if Ford’s team does not respond soon, the hearing scheduled for Monday is off, and the Committee will move forward with Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote next Thursday.
“We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours three or four times by email 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?”
When asked whether there would be a hearing if Ford did not agree to appear, Grassley said there was no reason to if she doesn’t respond.
“What would be the purpose of the hearing if Dr. Ford doesn’t want to respond?” Grassley added.
the woman accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of high-school-era sexual assault, has so far ignored repeated inquiries from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley told Hugh Hewitt Tuesday. https://t.co/FT3zZFWPlw via @dailycaller
— Ted Abram (@TedAbram1) September 18, 2018
Last week, The Washington Post published a report detailing accusations brought forward by Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school almost four decades ago.
Ford — a university professor in California and self-admitted liberal activist — claimed to the Post that she believed Kavanaugh could “inadvertently kill” her during a party in the early 1980s. She alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her while she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation, said he was never at the party in question, and that he only vaguely remembers Ford. He also stated that he will testify publicly before the Senate and answer questions about the allegations.
Ford’s lawyer told CNN on Monday that it’s not “her job” to corroborate her allegations, and that Kavanaugh should be the one required to prove his innocence.
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, has known about the accusations for over a month, and has not said anything at all — including to her Democratic colleagues — until late last week.
She also never once brought up the allegations when she privately met with Kavanaugh nor did she ask a single question about it during his confirmation hearing earlier this month.
President Donald Trump slammed Feinstein and Democrats on Monday, telling reporters that he is standing by Kavanaugh and the witch hunt against him.
“I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner because they had this information for many months. And they shouldn’t have waited until literally the last days. They should have done it a lot sooner.”
Grassley’s ultimatum is simple: if Ford agrees, she and Kavanaugh can take questions before the Senate on Monday.
If she does not accept the invitation, then the hearing on Monday will be cancelled and the committee will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Thursday.