The Senate Judiciary Committee has offered professor Christine Blasey Ford a counter-offer on her requests for the hearing on her accusation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and are giving her until the end of the day Friday to decide, according to Politico.
They have reportedly agreed to Blasey Ford’s requests of only allowing one camera present and that Kavanaugh not be in the room with her.
On the other hand, the Republicans denied another request and said they would bring in an outside lawyer to pose questions to Blasey Ford.
Blasey Ford’s lawyers worried that this will make the hearing seem like a trial, and it also gives Republicans a way out of risking looking like they’re bullying a sympathetic alleged victim. They have also agreed to push the hearing date to Wednesday, after Blasey Ford offered Thursday.
This is the latest news in a week of back and forths and escalating tensions.
When the GOP initially agreed to push back the confirmation vote scheduled for Thursday after Blasey Ford’s accusation surfaced in full last weekend, they were only willing to delay it to Monday.
Blasey Ford countered by asking for a delay in the hearing until an FBI investigation on her claims could be completed, as a way to inoculate herself against the likely partisan attacks she would face in a majority-Republican committee hearing.
Republicans have refused the investigation, calling for urgency to confirm Kavanaugh, though their motives are purely political. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) left the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open for nearly 300 days to prevent President Barack Obama from getting his nominee, judge Merrick Garland, on the bench.
It was unclear if Blasey Ford would agree to attend the hearing without an FBI probe, but talks ramped up between her lawyers and the Senate Judiciary Committee again Thursday night.
In the meantime, President Donald Trump had been showing unusual restraint, declining to attack Blasey Ford in a diversion from his usual tactics. His rhetoric heated up on Friday though, as he expressed serious doubt about her claims, questioning why she didn’t bring her accusation to the FBI back when the assault allegedly happened.