Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Tuesday night that there is “no reason” to delay the committee’s scheduled hearing to listen to sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite her demand that an FBI investigation be opened and the hearing be delayed.
“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” Grassley said in response to a letter sent to him by Ford’s attorney Debra Katz.
Katz told Grassley her client is receiving harassment and death threats, and that her email was hacked. Ford, Katz said, would not feel comfortable testifying “at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”
Grassley responded, “Nobody should be subject to threats and intimidation, and Dr. Ford is no exception. These are serious allegations and Dr. Ford deserves to be heard.”
The Judiciary Committee Chairman’s staff, however, disputed that Ford would ever be sitting at the same table as Kavanaugh saying, “Contrary to suggestions by Dr. Ford’s attorneys, the committee had no plans to place Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh on a panel together, and never indicated plans to do so. Grassley’s staff offered Dr. Ford multiple dates as well as a choice of providing information in a public or private setting.”
In her letter to Grassley, Katz also stated that an FBI investigation “should be the first step” in addressing her client’s allegations, but Grassley’s office responded that the FBI already notified the committee and made public statements that it considered the matter closed.
“The FBI does not make credibility determinations. The FBI provides information on a confidential basis in order for decision makers to determine an individual’s suitability,” Grassley’s committee office said. “The Senate has the information it needs to follow up with witnesses and gather and assess the relevant evidence.”