After several intense days of negotiations between Congressional GOP and Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team this week, the woman who at the 11th hour accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault over 35 years ago missed a 10PM deadline set by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Instead, she has demanded an additional day to make up her mind after her attorney, Debra Katz, called the 10:00 p.m. deadline “arbitrary.”
Katz made the demand at the end of a strongly worded letter accusing the Judiciary committee of “aggressive and artificial deadlines” which caused “unwarranted anxiety and stress on Dr. Ford.”
NEW: Letter from Ford’s lawyer to Grassley’s staff blasts them for announcing Monday vote, asks her to “be given an additional day to make her decision.” pic.twitter.com/cUAdmgyD6X
— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 22, 2018
The ball is now firmly in Grassley’s court in what is sure to be a nonstop weekend of rigorous debate over whether the Judiciary Committee Chairman will accede to Ford’s latest demand.
Earlier in the day, Grassley drew a hard line in the sand – giving Ford and her legal team until 10 p.m. Friday evening to respond to the GOP request to testify next Wednesday, while Ford’s team shot back a list of demands, including a Thursday testimony – and that the Committee of “11 old white men” question her instead of outside legal counsel.
Ford’s allies are doing their best to demonize Grassley and his committee of “11 old white men” for browbeating an alleged sexual assault victim into a rushed decision.
The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we’ve seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 22, 2018
That said, many on the right have pointed out that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) waited over 6 weeks to report Ford’s allegation to the FBI or any other authorities for investigation. Feinstein, having employed several former FBI on her staff along with an alleged Chinese spy, would have likely known of a number of flagpoles to fly Ford’s accusation up to begin the investigative process.
Congressional GOP agreed to skip the outside lawyer.
.@nancycordes: “In a very unusual move, GOP senators are seeking to cede their right to question [Christine Blasey] Ford at the hearing to an outside lawyer. That could be because there are 11 Republicans on the cmte & all of them are men. They may be concerned about the optics.” pic.twitter.com/y3tGecASOS
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) September 22, 2018
Perhaps another factor bolstering GOP efforts to move forward with Kavanaugh’s vote is the Friday revalation that Ford’s current political adviser – former Obama and Clinton White House official Ricky Seidman, had allegedly been working on Ford’s situation since July – outlining a plan on a newly released audio tape to use the allegation as political fodder to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and if unsuccessful, at least politically harm Republicans during midterms.
One might think that Ford, an ostensibly intelligent PhD, would have considered the likelihood of her eventual Congressional testimony the moment she decided to involve California legislators in her claims prior to the 11th hour of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
We are t believe? Ford has waited 36 years to confront her abuser yet she is finding any excuse to avoid it.
— Bradley Blakeman (@BlakemanB) September 22, 2018
Dr Ford is a little busy dealing with the death threats on her and her family to give the old white republican men exactly the time line they’d like with regard to her testimony. But they just don’t care.
— steven pasquale (@StevePasquale) September 22, 2018
Was Ford’s account leaked?
Meanwhile, per the Washington Post, Ford now claims that Ed Whelan – a former Scalia clerk who posited a controversial theory that Ford may have mistaken Kavanaugh for a high school Doppelgänger, was creeping her Linkedin page before her accusation became public knowledge – suggesting that someone leaked her name to him. The White House denied the suggestion on Friday, stating that “neither Kavanaugh nor anyone in the White House gave Ford’s name to Whelan before it was disclosed by the Post.”
Who leaked Christine Ford’s name to Ed Whelan? This earlier account from @washingtonpost raises questions if it was a Senate Judiciary staffer, an FBI agent or possibly a sitting US Senator, likely one from the GOP. https://t.co/ofhq9oBp1V pic.twitter.com/pS9LuCtNZI
— Stuart Leavenworth (@sleavenworth) September 22, 2018
And here we are, buckle up for a long weekend…