Grassley sticks by plans for Monday hearing for Kavanaugh accuser

September 19, 2018

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday he’s pushing ahead with plans for Monday’s hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, but said he’s also willing to have committee investigators meet her on her own terms.

Mr. Grassley again rejected Christine Blasey Ford’s demand that the FBI be assigned to look into her allegation of an attempted sexual assault more than 35 years ago, when she and Judge Kavanaugh were in high school.

He said if she wants to influence the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, she should come forward and talk to the Senate, which is charged with voting to confirm or reject the nomination.

“The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone,” Mr. Grassley said in a letter to Ms. Blasey Ford’s lawyer.

After Ms. Blasey Ford indicated through her lawyer that she wanted to tell her story, and after Democrats demanded a new hearing to review the assault allegations, Mr. Grassley scheduled the hearing for Monday.

Democrats and Ms. Blasey Ford now object to that, saying they never agreed to a specific date, and want a number of other hurdles, including an FBI probe, to be done first.

Mr. Grassley, though, said the Monday invitation stands as her chance. He said she could also choose to testify to the committee privately on Monday.

And he said his staff investigators are still open to speaking to her in some other setting, as they already did with Judge Kavanaugh.

Mr. Grassley said Ms. Blasey Ford’s prepared testimony and biography must be handed over to his staff by Friday if she plans to show up on Monday to tell her side of the story.