A woman who has accused President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual misconduct decades ago is willing to publicly testify before a Senate panel set to vote this week on his nomination, her lawyer said on Monday.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", said Ford, who is now 51 years old and lives in northern California. The allegations, which Kavanaugh vehemently denies, refer to when he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, in the 1980s.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation".
"I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion", she said.
The allegation first came to light late last week in the form of a letter that has been in the possession of Sen.
The 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee penned a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and White House Counsel Don McGahn on Tuesday arguing that the FBI needs to complete an investigation before the hearing is scheduled to take place on Monday.
"I've made it clear that I'm not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further", said Flake, who is one of the committee's 21 members.
Democrats, led by New York Sen.
Republican leaders excoriated Feinstein on Monday for revealing the existence of Ford's letter only last Thursday, after a report describing it was published by The Intercept - which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggested was the result of a coordinated leak by Senate Democrats. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and an Iowa Republican, should postpone the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation until Ford's allegations can be thoroughly investigated.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement he would "gladly listen" to Ford if she wanted to tell her story to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"I agree with Senator Flake that we should delay this week's vote". Bob Corker of Tennessee, said the vote should be postponed until the committee heard from Ford.
For now, what should happen is that Kavanaugh should be confirmed as a justice to the Supreme Court.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called Ford's silence "pretty telling", but added they hope she does testify. Republican Lisa Murkowski is also being closely watched for how she will vote on Kavanaugh because no Democrats have announced support of him.
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"We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and Ranking Member (Dianne) Feinstein to discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health and security", the letter from Ford's lawyers said.
Judge continued: "In fact, I have no memory of the alleged incident".
Republicans have not settled on the strategy, the person familiar with the situation said, but were weighing options, including doing nothing.
Ford's accusations became known late in the Judiciary Committee's consideration, but have jolted a nomination that appeared headed toward a confirmation vote. Key will be the views of Sens. Alaska's Murkowski and Maine Republican Sen.
White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Monday that Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by the judge's denial of the allegation.
Citing unreleased records from Kavanaugh's official work over the years, Democrats have called for a delay in considering his nomination. Democrats on the panel refused to take part, arguing that the FBI should investigate the allegations stemming from an incident Ford says happened at a party in the early 1980s when they were both students in high school.
However, Feinstein's request for an investigation ahead of the hearing breaks with procedure.
Jeff Flake, have called for a delay on Kavanaugh's confirmation until they have a chance to hear from Ford.
California professor Christine Blasey Ford tells the newspaper that Kavanaugh and a friend corralled her in a bedroom during a gathering at a house in Maryland in the early 1980s. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and escaped when Judge jumped on them. Explaining Ford's initial reluctance to come forward, Katz said, "No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go though". "I did not do this back in high school or at any time".
Earlier, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer of NY said it would be "a deep insult to the women of America" if Grassley did not postpone Thursday's meeting. The therapist's notes say that four boys were involved, but Ford said that was an error on the therapist's part. Ford named two other teenagers who she said were at the party.
A registered Democrat, Ford contacted her representative in Congress, Democrat Anna Eshoo, around the same time.
Late Tuesday, Ford broke her silence and said the FBI should investigate her accusations before she testifies before the Senate, saying she felt some senators had already pre-judged her case.
"It has always been Mrs. Ford's decision whether to come forward publicly", the senator said. "She analyzes the data and lets the data tell the story".