Kavanaugh accuser to testify Thursday

Dr Ford (left) says Mr  Kavanaugh (right) assaulted her when she was 15, and he was 17

Dr Ford (left) says Mr Kavanaugh (right) assaulted her when she was 15, and he was 17

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify against him next week.

Lawyers for Dr Christine Blasey Ford said she had accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request to appear before them to be questioned about the alleged attack at a party in 1982.

A “tentative” deal has been reached for Thursday, US media report.

Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.


The allegations, which emerged in the US media last week, have delayed his confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Dr Ford, a university professor, had originally been granted a deadline of Friday to agree to testify. This was later extended to Saturday by Senator Chuck Grassley, the leading Republican on the committee.

Dr Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz said in a letter to the committee on Saturday that her client had accepted the request but wanted to “continue our negotiations” on the details.

She also criticised the process and said some of what the senators had been proposing was “fundamentally inconsistent with the Committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations” – but it was not clear to what she was referring.

The allegation against Judge Kavanaugh became public last week after it emerged Prof Ford had detailed the alleged assault in a confidential letter to the top Democratic senator on the judiciary committee, Dianne Feinstein, in July.

As the judge neared confirmation, news about the letter leaked to US media. Ms Feinstein then confirmed she had passed it on to the FBI.


After days of continued media speculation, Prof Ford went on record in a Washington Post article as the mystery accuser, detailing the alleged assault.

She said Mr Kavanaugh had tried to drunkenly remove her clothing at a party, pinned her to a bed and covered her mouth when she was 15 and he was 17.

Since then, her lawyers have been in back-and-forth negotiations with the judicial committee, trying to agree on terms for her to testify.

She had asked for a number of preconditions, including not testifying with Mr Kavanaugh in the room and the subpoenaing of his friend, Mark Judge, who she said had witnessed the alleged sexual assault.

Some Republicans, including President Trump, have accused her and Democratic politicians of deliberately trying to delay and obstruct the judge’s confirmation, and urged them to push forward the process. -BBC

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