The Slatest

Christine Blasey Ford Wants an FBI Investigation of Kavanaugh Allegation Before Testifying

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley during a hearing on September 13, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley during a hearing on Thursday in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the wake of her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford looked set to take center stage and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a slot carved out Monday, but now the next step in the handling of her allegation is in flux and her appearance in doubt. On Tuesday, Ford’s lawyers sent Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa a letter expressing Ford’s desire to appear before the committee—but only after the FBI was given the opportunity to investigate the matter in order to “ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decision.”

An investigation of this nature, quite clearly, couldn’t happen in less than a week. Ford’s expressed desire to have some established facts that, at the very least, allow for a common starting point, echoes calls of Senate Democrats and puts in relief the differing political strategies of the two parties. Democrats are looking to slow the process down and perhaps even run out the clock on the nomination until the midterms and Republicans are deploying their hurry up offense to try to get the confirmation in the books, preferably, for the GOP, with Ford being offered, but without actually testifying publicly. “If she does not come on Monday, we are going to move on and vote on Wednesday,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News Tuesday evening.

“[Ford’s] public accusation led Grassley on Monday to announce that the committee would convene next Monday to give both Kavanaugh and Ford the opportunity to publicly testify, as both had indicated a willingness to do so,” CNN notes. “But as of Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans had yet to hear from Ford or her lawyer regarding their request for her to testify.” Ford’s lawyer Lisa Page indicated to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night that Ford was committed to engaging with the process, but on her own timetable. “It’s premature to talk about a hearing on Monday,” Page told Cooper. “People understand that. She has been dealing with the threats, the harassment, and the safety of her family. That’s what she’s been focused on for the last two days and will continue to be focused on that. So asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process. If they care about doing the right thing here and treating this seriously, as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this. She will work with them in that investigation and also to share her story with the committee. However that happens.”