Chuck Grassley; Christine Blasey Ford; Mitch McConnell (AP/www.researchgate.net)

Kavanaugh's accuser will testify on Thursday

Christine Blasey Ford is a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University


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Matthew Rozsa
September 23, 2018 6:45PM (UTC)

Christine Blasey Ford, the California research psychologist who has accused President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee of attempting to rape her when they were both teenagers, has agreed on a day in which to testify before the Senate against him.

Ford's attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa J. Banks and Michael R. Bromwich announced on Sunday that their client is "committed to moving forward with an open hearing on Thursday" to testify before the Senate about her sexual misconduct accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, according to USA Today. The legal team added that "we committed to moving forward with an open hearing on Thursday Sept 27 at 10:00 am. Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her."

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The legal team did not claim that the variables which had initially made Ford reluctant to testify against Kavanaugh had been entirely addressed. They pointed out that "a number of important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved" but added that those obstacles "will not impede the hearing taking place." Those variables included whether alleged witnesses would be called to testify on the case as well as whether outside counsel could question Ford during the hearing.

It is likely that many of the questions Ford shall face will involve the difficulty she has had in getting others who she says witnessed the alleged rape attempt to support her story. A longtime friend of hers,  Leland Ingham Keyser, announced through her lawyer that "simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford," according to CNN. Mark Judge, who she also claims witnessed the alleged attempted rape, released a statement saying that "I have no memory of this alleged incident." Similarly Patrick J. Smyth issued a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee saying, "I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as 'PJ' who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post. I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh."

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In her initially anonymous letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Ford described the alleged incident in harrowing terms:

The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.

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Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."
At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford Donald Trump

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