The Slatest

Kavanaugh Accuser Says in Letter That She Will Testify Next Week if Conditions Are “Fair”

Kavanaugh, wearing a suit and frowning, boards an SUV.
Brett Kavanaugh outside his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on Sept. 19.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Thursday morning, attorneys representing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, had yet to respond to the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee’s offer to hear her testimony next Monday. With Ford apparently hesitant to abide by the GOP’s strategically hurried schedule for finishing Kavanaugh’s hearings, his confirmation was beginning to seem more likely. But Ford’s representatives now say that she is willing to testify soon, if not Monday, under certain conditions:

The ball is now back in Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley’s court; we’ll see if he and other Senate Republicans press forward with the seemingly nonsensical but politically expedient (for him) premise that the Ford hearing can happen Monday and only Monday. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who have the strongest personal/political interest in treating sexual assault accusations sympathetically, would seem most likely to push to accommodate Ford, with ostentatiously conscience-driven lame-duck Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake being a wild card.

CNN, meanwhile, reports that Ford’s attorneys were until very recently scheduled to host a D.C. fundraiser for (Democratic) Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a data point that will surely encourage hardline Republicans to claim that Ford’s entire accusation should be dismissed as a partisan tactic.

In other words, this ugly situation is probably going to get uglier!