After a whirlwind of speculation on whether Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, an email from Ford's attorney Debra Katz may have given an answer. Katz said in the email to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ford still wishes to testify, but negotiations would have to be made to ensure the safety of her client, who has suffered harassment and death threats after coming forward. Katz insisted that those assurances couldn't be secured adequately before Monday.
Initially, Ford was open to testifying then requested an FBI investigation of the allegations before facing questions from the committee. According to Katz, it is still Ford's "strong preference" that an investigation be conducted, but it appears Ford may be amenable to testifying without it if other conditions are met.
NEW: Text of e-mail from Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer to Senate Judiciary Committee. https://t.co/UlRZVEUhxm— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@Sheryl Gay Stolberg) 1537469538.0
While the FBI investigation may not occur, Katz demanded on behalf of her client that the hearing previously scheduled for Monday be moved back to ensure Ford's safety.
"A hearing on Monday is not possible and the Committee's insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event."
Hours later, Kavanaugh himself sent a letter to the committee reiterating his desire to testify and "clear [his] name."
"Thank you for the invitation to appear before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Monday, September 24. I will be there. I look forward to the opportunity to testify before the Committee.""I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name."
Katz's statement highlights a point that Democrats have made in regards to the Committee Republicans' rush to confirm Kavanaugh to the court. It's undoubtedly ideal for Republicans to confirm Kavanaugh before the 2018 midterms, when the legislature could shift in Democrats' favor and jeopardize the Supreme Court appointment.
However, lawmakers and citizens alike are pointing out that this doesn't justify a rush to confirm him to a lifetime post.
Republicans held Justice Scalia’s seat open for more than 400 days. Justice Kennedy’s seat has been vacant for less… https://t.co/wdudbxxszZ— Adam Schiff (@Adam Schiff) 1537461007.0
Brett Kavanaugh is up for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. Dr. Ford – and the American people… https://t.co/NCkVOsXrfV— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1537381261.0
Now that #ChristineFord lawyer has indicated she is willing to testify next week, there is no justification for… https://t.co/umK2OPORWt— Richard A. Arenberg (@Richard A. Arenberg) 1537471042.0
If you just read and listen, people really do tell on themselves. Mr graham here just tweeted to the public that t… https://t.co/ysPYeSJqD5— Marco Gonzalez (@Marco Gonzalez) 1537463173.0
Before the possibility of a hearing next week was put back on the table, Democrats were adamant that an FBI investigation was necessary.
For Republicans, an investigation was out of the question.
This is despite the fact that the FBI is responsible for conducting background checks for such positions as a Supreme Court seat. The FBI reopened the investigation of now-Justice Clarence Thomas when Anita Hill came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against him in 1991. Republicans claim that an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh is just a tactic for Democrats to delay his confirmation, but the investigation prompted by Hill only took three days.
Additionally, many Americans are pointing out that these allegations are serious and deserve to be investigated to the fullest extent.
This is exactly right. The FBI should investigate Dr. Ford's allegations, not partisan staff. Senators need to be w… https://t.co/1yW9MC2QCl— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@Senator Dianne Feinstein) 1537465729.0
America deserves to know the truth. To everyone attacking Dr. Ford – is that really how you want to treat victims o… https://t.co/cQyYXCAvwO— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley) 1537391533.0
Senator Hatch is wrong about role of FBI in judicial nominations. The FBI conducted numerous on Anita Hill's allega… https://t.co/8GhpqlKADH— David Brock (@David Brock) 1537367567.0
Others are saying an investigation is merited because there are people like Mark Judge (who witnessed the event) and Cristina King Miranda, who claims to have heard of the alleged assault at school in the days following.
In case you're wondering why @BrettKavanaugh's friend Mark Judge won't testify, it's likely because there is no sta… https://t.co/t0VT1vyucE— Randi Rhodes (@Randi Rhodes) 1537318075.0
Letter from Cristina King Miranda who recalls hearing about the incident described by Dr. Christina Blasey Ford whe… https://t.co/Auz5bElkO4— Janet Marcotte (@Janet Marcotte) 1537373919.0
It's unclear whether an FBI investigation will happen or if the Senate Judiciary Committee will proceed without it. Regardless, it's likely the public won't know by Monday.