Christine Blasey Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her allegations that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago when they were both teenagers. Ford’s lawyers said some details still need to be worked out but that won’t prevent her from testifying. “We committed to moving forward with an open hearing on Thursday Sept. 27 at 10 a.m.,” Ford’s attorneys said in a statement following a call with staff from the Senate Judiciary Committee that lasted about one hour.
“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” the statement read. Ford’s lawyers, Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich, also wrote that “important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved.” Chief among them is whether Republican senators would use staff attorneys to question Ford rather than do it themselves. “We were told no decision has been made on this important issue, even though various senators have been dismissive of her account and should have to shoulder their responsibility to ask her questions,” Ford’s attorneys wrote. “Nor were we told when we would have that answer or answers to the other unresolved issues.”
Ford’s attorneys also complained that lawmakers had “refused to invite other witnesses who are essential for a fair hearing that arrives at the truth about the sexual assault.” Her lawyers have been calling on the committee to subpoena testimony from Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room during the alleged assault. They also want senators to question the former FBI agent who gave Ford a polygraph test earlier this year as well as call on two trauma experts to testify. Republicans have opposed these demands.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley reportedly wrote an email thanking Ford for accepting the invitation. In the email, Grassley also allegedly reminded her attorneys that “the committee determines which witnesses to call, how many witnesses to call, and what order to call them and who will question them. These are nonnegotiable.”
The committee official scheduled the Thursday hearing on Sunday afternoon.