Sunday, 09 December, 2018


Christine Blasey Ford's colleagues point to her integrity amid confirmation controversy

Bennie Garza | 19 September, 2018, 20:23

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) listens during a markup hearing September 13 before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Feinstein has demanded that the confirmation vote be postponed until the FBI investigates claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump blamed Democrats for the delay weeks before the USA midterm congressional elections on November 6, but he said there was enough time to get his pick confirmed before the elections.

The committee, which oversees Supreme Court nominations, has called a hearing for Monday in which both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could testify.

"This is different circumstances, occurring in a whole different time", says Manley, warning about "blowback" if Republicans try to overreach and impugn Ford's motives for coming forward.

One of the first criticisms Senate Republicans had of the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed sexual assault at age 17 was to ask why Democrats had waited until the last minute to take any action on the letter, despite having it for weeks. "But the fact that I know her as a person of integrity and honesty, it doesn't surprise me that she came forward and that she has a personal sense of the importance of what she has to say".

"We have to create an environment where women can come forward and be heard and be listened to", she said. Democrats are asking for an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry before the matter goes to a US Senate Judiciary Committee while Republicans are backing Kavanaugh, raising questions over the timing of such accusations. They also want more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what they said would turn into a "he-said-she-said" moment. She said it would be "disqualifying" if Kavanaugh was lying.

Feinstein said she did not disclose the allegation to the committee out of respect for Ford's request to remain anonymous.

With the risk that further delay could imperil the Kavanaugh nomination, GOP senators fought to make Monday the drop-dead deadline for addressing the Blasey Ford accusation, insisting that it's time to move on with or without her testimony. Soon, she married her husband in a nearby coastal town, and they bought a classic Eichler home in Palo Alto and had two sons.

And then there's Trump, who made life considerably harder for Republicans when he said Tuesday that "we should go through a process, because there shouldn't even be a little doubt", about Kavanaugh's past before Republicans determine his future. Republicans hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed by October 1, the start of the next Supreme Court term.

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, is demanding that the hearings be postponed until the FBI can conduct a full investigation - something the Department of Justice has already said is unlikely to ever happen. "We're ready to hear anything she has to say".

The panel's Republican chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, said he would postpone the vote and would now hold a hearing with both Kavanaugh and his accuser on Monday.

"We will not sit by and let Republicans use this hearing to attack, undermine and shame Ford", declared UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop".

Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox. Given the politics, given energized women voters, given the new climate about sexual harassment, "it's very important that they give due respect to Dr. Ford".

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