Blasey Ford Lawyers Seek Terms For Senate Testimony In Coming Days

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Attorneys for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sent an email Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee seeking conditions under which their client would agree to testify about her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The letter, which was first obtained by The New York Times, reiterates that Blasey Ford would prefer to testify after federal investigators pursue the matter. However, her attorneys say she is willing to appear next week provided the panel ensures her safety and offers fair terms.

“As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home,” the message reads. “She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”

The email adds she is not able to appear on Monday, the day on which Senate Republicans have already scheduled a hearing on the matter. (RELATED: Kavanaugh Accuser Blasey Ford Hasn’t Filed A Police Report)

The message appears to be the first time that Blasey Ford’s lawyers at Katz, Marshall & Banks have communicated with the majority staff on the Judiciary Committee. Before Thursday, it was unclear whether Blasey Ford would give testimony at all, as her attorneys insisted that a federal investigation serve as the basis for a potential hearing.

Democrats have similarly advocated for an FBI investigation. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York called the GOP’s plans to hold the hearing Monday a “sham” and urged Blasey Ford not to participate.

For their part, committee Republicans have been fairly implacable about the Monday date, and believe lawmakers can work with Senate investigators to reach the truth of the matter, making an FBI investigation unnecessary in their view.

In a letter issued Wednesday to Democrats, Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the panel was prepared to process the allegations in a respectful, even-handed way, while chastising Democrats for refusing to assist in their preparations. (RELATED: Blasey Ford’s Friends Say She’s Discussed Alleged Encounter With Kavanaugh In The Past)

“We have no power to commandeer an executive branch agency into conducting our due diligence,” the letter reads. “The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone.”

Democratic communications operative Ricki Seidman of TSD Communications is advising Blasey Ford, according to Politico. Seidman was chief investigator for Sen. Ted Kennedy during the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, served in a variety of capacities in the Clinton administration, and later assisted the Obama administration during the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh held her down on a bed and groped her while seeking intercourse at a party in 1982 when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the accusation.

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