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I can’t keep up

Shady Kavanaugh accuser refuses to testify at Monday hearing

15

When is the GOP going to stop dancing the party of treason’s tune? The spineless, gutless RINOs should never have postponed the vote. If far-left professor Christine Blasey Ford won’t appear, why delay?

The objection of the party of treason and their propaganda arm, the enemedia, is to delay the Kavanaugh confirmation vote “indefinitely.”

In fast-moving events, Kavanaugh accuser refuses Monday hearing; nominee appears confident

by Byron York, Washington Examiner | September 19, 2018:

On Tuesday morning, Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s expected testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was being called the most-anticipated event in Washington in decades. By Tuesday night, the whole thing appeared to be off.

Through it all, as Democrats scrambled and re-calibrated their position, Kavanaugh appeared extraordinarily confident.

Ford says that in 1982, when she was 15, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh forced her onto a bed, tried to undress her, and covered her mouth with his hand at a high school party.

Ford revealed her identity in a Washington Post article Sunday. Democrats immediately began calling on Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to schedule a hearing. Early Monday morning, Ford lawyer Debra Katz told CNN that Ford would appear if asked.

“Will your client, Christine Ford, be willing to testify in public to the judiciary committee?” asked anchor Alisyn Camerota.

“The answer is yes,” said Katz.

Calls grew through the day for Grassley to agree to a hearing. Late Monday afternoon, the chairman said yes. Committee rules call for a week’s notice for hearings, so Grassley said the panel would meet next Monday, Sept. 24, to hear from Ford and Kavanaugh.

The news flew through Washington. The hearing was on. It would be a chance, the conventional wisdom went, for the Senate to throw off the legacy of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearing 27 years ago and give an accuser a fair and respectful hearing.

That’s when the backtracking began. As discussion continued Tuesday morning, Ford remained silent. A number of news reports noted that, even as everyone talked about what might happen at the hearing, Ford had not in fact agreed to take part.

Democrats complained. Any hearing would have to be preceded by an FBI investigation, they said. That would take weeks. Next Monday was too soon. Grassley, noting that Kavanaugh had already undergone several FBI background checks, said no investigation was necessary; the committee would hear from Ford and Kavanaugh and assess their credibility.

But there was still no word from Ford. Then Tuesday night, Katz and another Ford lawyer, Lisa Banks, took to the media, sending a letter to Grassley that simultaneously appeared as an exclusive on CNN. The letter suggested, but did not say explicitly, that Ford would not testify without an FBI investigation first.

Ford’s life has been “turned upside down” by coming out against Kavanaugh, the lawyers wrote to Grassley. And while that happened, “you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident. The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up.'”

“No sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal,” the lawyers added.

The letter was wrong or incomplete on a number of points. Grassley first asked to have a private phone interview with Ford. After he agreed to Democrats’ demand for a hearing, he also offered to hold it behind closed doors — no television coverage at all. In addition, there was never a committee plan to have Ford and Kavanaugh testify side-by-side. On the other hand, the lawyers were correct that some senators appear to be skeptical about Ford’s story. But it seems unreasonable for a witness to demand to appear only before lawmakers who support her, especially when she is part of an effort to bring down a Supreme Court nomination.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Grassley responded to the Katz-Banks letter. He offered nothing new. “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events,” Grassley said. “Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.”

With the hearing in serious jeopardy, Lisa Banks appeared on CNN and appeared to shut the door altogether.

“Any talk of a hearing on Monday, frankly, is premature,” Banks said. “[Ford] will talk with the committee. She is not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday.”

Banks suggested Ford is simply not emotionally ready to appear. “Since coming forward, her life has been turned upside down,” Banks said, echoing the lawyers’ letter. “Rushing forward into a hearing when she’s under this much pressure isn’t the way to do it.’

Then there was the investigation issue. “No investigation — any legitimate investigation is going to happen between now and Monday,” Banks said. “This is going to take some time. What needs to happen is — there shouldn’t be a rush to a hearing here. There’s no reason to do that.”

So now, it appears Ford is a definite no, and Democrats will unite behind — and this will not be a surprise to anyone — calls for more delay.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee who has known about the Ford allegation since July, complained of a “rushed process.” But Feinstein fed an atmosphere of uncertainty Tuesday when she said of Ford’s allegation: “I can’t say everything’s truthful. I don’t know.”

As it all unfolded, the striking thing from the Kavanaugh side of the conflict was a sense of solid and increasing confidence. Kavanaugh allies privately said they expected information to emerge that would support his contention that he had nothing to do with the events described by Ford.

Indeed, around midnight Tuesday, CNN posted a story quoting a man named Patrick J. Smyth, a former high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s who said he had been cited by Ford as having been at the party where she was allegedly attacked. “I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth wrote in a letter to the Senate committee, according to CNN. “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

Kavanaugh’s statements on the controversy have been clear and definitive. When Ford’s accusation was first raised anonymously, Kavanaugh said this: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Then, after Ford spoke to the Post, Kavanaugh released another statement. “This is a completely false allegation,” he said. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”

That was a pretty unambiguous statement. It was not the work of a man who wants to leave himself wiggle room.

By late Tuesday, with Ford apparently refusing to testify at the scheduled hearing, Kavanaugh appeared to be regaining the support of Republican senators who were shaken by Ford’s accusation. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., tweeted, “After learning of the allegation, Chairman Grassley took immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private. Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.”

Another Republican, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Fla., virtually begged Ford to appear. “When Dr. Ford came forward, I said that her voice should be heard and asked the Judiciary Committee to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh,” Flake tweeted near midnight Tuesday. “It did so. I now implore Dr. Ford to accept the invitation for Monday, in a public or private setting. The committee should hear her voice.”

The two Republicans thought most critical for Kavanaugh’s future, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, did not make statements Tuesday evening.

But as Wednesday began, the situation was one of Democrats in turmoil, with their star witness reluctant to appear and their latest demands unmet, while Kavanaugh remained unshakably confident.

https://twitter.com/susancrabtree/status/1042410988337680384

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