Kirsten Gillibrand defended Ford and said the Judiciary panel is being unfair to her. President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have rejected Ford's request for an FBI investigation of her accusation, which she says should take place before she testifies. Kavanaugh wrote to Grassley in a letter released by the White House that he looks forward to testifying.
Ford's lawyers said on Tuesday she would testify before the committee only if the FBI first investigated her allegation. But Democrats and Ford's attorneys pressed Grassley to first agree to an FBI investigation of the alleged incident and to invite other witnesses to appear at any public hearing.
Ms Ford has contended that at a house party in the 1980s, a drunken Mr Kavanaugh tried undressing her and stifling her cries on a bed before she fled.
Blasey Ford's lawyer wrote in the email that she'd like to call committee staffers later Thursday to "discuss the conditions" of her potential testimony.
Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth have both submitted statements to Grassley's committee via counsel, notes Cooke. "The rush to a hearing is unnecessary". His Republican party accuses the Democrats of using Ford as a last-minute spoiler to try and wreck Kavanaugh's path to the highest court, where he would tilt the bench firmly to the right for possibly years to come.
Mr Trump told reporters, "I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man". "If she shows up that would be wonderful".
"Let it play out", Trump said. Hirono said the threats constitute being labeled as "intimidation of a witness". Republicans have moved to get Kavanaugh confirmed before the November 6 midterm election, where Democrats are expected to flip a number of GOP-held seats in the Senate.
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Any defections from the Republicans' narrow Senate majority could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump, who has been appointing more conservatives to the high court and the broader federal judiciary.
Kavanaugh appeared headed toward eventual confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate, but after Ford made the public accusations against Kavanaugh in a Washington Post interview last weekend, Democrats opposed to Kavanaugh and some Republicans called for a new hearing to allow Ford to testify and Kavanaugh to respond.
Judge Kavanaugh continues to deny the claim and has this week been meeting White House officials.
The Democrats, all of whom served as prosecutors or state attorneys general, noted that President George H.W. Bush asked the FBI to investigate after law professor Anita Hill raised allegations of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991. "He's going for the Supreme Court".
Palo Alto University issued a statement supporting Ford.
Ford hasn't mentioned anything publicly about her parents' foreclosure proceeding, so any connection between it and her decision to come forward is pure speculation. Now, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has responded, telling Ford's attorneys in a letter of his own that he is willing to make the hearing private, but not to delay it past September 24.
He said he was "disturbed" to hear that she had been facing threats and harassment but urged her to speak before the committee.