An attorney for the California college professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were in their teens has told Senate Judiciary staff she is open to testifying next Thursday in a public hearing assuming her safety is guaranteed, according to CNN.
Blasey Ford is also opposed to being in the same room as Kavanaugh, and does not want outside counsel for the questioning portion, although The New York Times reported Thursday that Republican members of the committee had already decided to hire one to avoid the image of 11 male senators questioning Blasey Ford.
Instead, they are seeking to enlist the help of an experienced litigator familiar with assault cases — and are seeking a woman, according to one person familiar with the search.
Ford earlier Thursday told the committee she is willing to testify next week so long as senators offer “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety,” according to her lawyers.
“As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home,” attorney Debra Katz said in an email to the panel. “She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”
Blasey Ford said the incident occurred when she was 15 and a student at the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at Georgetown Preparatory School. Kavanaugh and a friend — both allegedly “stumbling drunk” at a small gathering of teens that night — corralled her into a bedroom in a house in Montgomery County, she said.
With his friend watching, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and trying to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.
“I believe her, and I think she’s very courageous for coming this far,” Ford’s adviser Ricki Seidman told Politico.