The Slatest

Kavanaugh and His Accuser Both Say They Are Willing to Testify About Her Sexual Assault Allegation

Brett Kavanaugh gestures with his hand in front of a microphone.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Sept. 6 in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This post has been updated with recent news developments.

As a growing number of legislators call for more information about a recent allegation accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980s, both the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and Kavanaugh himself have said they were willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican whose vote has the potential to ensure or block Kavanaugh’s confirmation, expressed a desire Monday to hear from both parties:

Collins has until now appeared likely to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. She joined fellow Republican Sens. Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, and Bob Corker in calling for the testimony.

On Monday morning, a lawyer representing Ford, the California professor who accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when the two were in high school, said on NBC’s Today show on Monday that her client was willing to testify. Later in the day, Kavanaugh announced he would be willing to talk to the committee about the accusations, according to the New York Times.

Also speaking on Monday, Kellyanne Conway said in an interview on Fox & Friends that, though the White House still believed Kavanaugh to be “a man of character and integrity,” Ford should be allowed to testify and “should be heard.”

The statements came a day after Ford stepped forward publicly in an interview with the Washington Post. Ford had written a confidential letter about her allegations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who said she would honor Ford’s request for anonymity and passed the letter on to the FBI, which in turn sent a redacted version to the White House to be included in Kavanaugh’s background file. As buzz around the letter grew, Ford came to believe she would be identified by reporters, and on Sunday, she decided to come forward publicly.

In the interview, Ford alleged that in the early 1980s, at a house in suburban Maryland, Kavanaugh and a friend cornered her in a bedroom. Kavanaugh, who she said was very drunk, pinned her to a bed and groped her and grinded against her while the friend watched. Kavanaugh tried to pull off her swimsuit, she said, and when she tried to scream, he covered her mouth with his hand. She said she was able to flee when the friend jumped on them, causing enough chaos to allow her to escape.

Ford’s attorney said Monday that while her client was “willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth,” she did not have a position on Kavanaugh’s nomination and was not politically motivated.

In a statement Monday, the White House reiterated its support for Kavanaugh. “On Friday, Judge Kavanaugh ‘categorically and unequivocally’ denied this allegation,’” a White House spokeswoman said. “This has not changed. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement.”