Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify

National News

September 17, 2018 - 10:36 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The woman accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her is willing to tell her story in public to a Senate panel considering his nomination to the Supreme Court, her lawyer said today.
Kavanaugh had been on a smooth confirmation track, but the new allegations have roiled that process. Republican senators have expressed concern over a woman’s private-turned-public allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers.
Debra S. Katz, the attorney for the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, said her client considered the incident to be an attempted rape.
“She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped,” Katz told NBC’s “Today.”
Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegations, a statement the White House repeated today.
“This has not changed,” said White House spokesman Kerri Kupec. “Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of Ford today: “She should not be insulted. She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill.”
Conway, who said she had discussed the situation with President Donald Trump, said that both Ford and Kavanaugh should testify, but made clear it was up to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said Sen. Lindsey Graham had told her it could happen as soon as Tuesday  and the White House will “respect the process.”
Stressing that Kavanaugh had already testified and undergone FBI background checks, Conway said: “I think you have to weigh this testimonial evidence from Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh along with the considerable body of evidence that is already there about the judge’s temperament and qualifications and character.”
In morning television interviews, Katz said her client was willing to tell her story in public to the Senate Judiciary Committee, although no lawmakers or their aides had yet contacted her. Katz also denied that Ford, a Democrat, is politically motivated.
“No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go though. … She was quite reluctant to come forward.”
Initially the sexual misconduct allegation was conveyed in a private letter, without revealing Ford’s name. With a name and disturbing details, the accusation raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Trump’s nominee ahead of midterm elections featuring an unprecedented number of female candidates and informed in part by the #MeToo movement.
The GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee appeared nonetheless committed to a vote later this week despite Ford’s account in The Washington Post.
Kavanaugh, she told the Post, pinned her to a bed at a Maryland party in the early 1980s, clumsily tried to remove her clothing and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.
Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” she says — corralled her in a bedroom when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and escaped when Judge jumped on them.
Kavanaugh attended a private school for boys in Maryland while Ford attended a nearby school.
Through the White House, Kavanaugh, 53, a federal appeals judge in Washington, said: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

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