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Before accuser testifies, McConnell predicts Kavanaugh will be confirmed

22 September 2018

After days of speculation about whether Christine Blasey Ford would actually testify about her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, her attorneys told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that she is willing to appear next week - as long as they can agree on the terms. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, left, joined by former students from Holton Arms School, speaks to reporters in support of professor Christine Blasey Ford, who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual attack, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

Trump's change of strategy comes as Ford's reps have begun to negotiate terms of her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents".

"Some have gone so far as to state, "She's mixed up"; "She's mistaken"; "She's not in really a position to make conditions"; and, 'I'll listen to the lady, but we're going to bring this to a close.' These shameful attacks show why it is so hard for survivors of sexual assault to come forward", the Democrats wrote in their letter.

The president previously had avoided naming Ford or plainly casting doubt on her account.

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Democrats have tried using the issue to demonstrate that Republicans treat women unfairly, their eyes on upcoming elections in which suburban, anti-Trump female voters could be pivotal in many races. Sen. "He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh", said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley.

Kavanaugh, who's been eager to testify, said he was ready to appear Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed confidence on Thursday that Kavanaugh will ultimately be confirmed. Ford's attorneys raised the possibility of subpoenaing several witnesses including Mark Judge, who she says egged Kavanaugh on during the assault.

But US President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have already ruled that out.

According to the statement, Ford and her family have received threats and she is "currently unable to go home".

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The attorney said her client would prefer to wait for the FBI to investigate the accusation before agreeing to testify. "Her strong preference continues to be for the Senate Judiciary Committee to allow for a full investigation prior to her testimony".

He added: "Why didn't someone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago?" She said Ford needs time to make sure her family is secure, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington. The senator stopped short, though, of saying whether she believed Ford.

A number of women who say they have known and worked with Kavanaugh throughout his legal career say he has been respectful and fair in dealing with them.

By refusing to call Mark Judge as a witness, and refusing to direct the FBI to investigate, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the president are in lockstep.

Brett Kavanaugh's accuser is allegedly at fault for not coming forward sooner, according to Donald Trump.

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Sara Fagen, another longtime friend who worked with Kavanaugh in the White House, told a story about how Kavanaugh helped her the day of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Before accuser testifies, McConnell predicts Kavanaugh will be confirmed