The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both of them were in high school will not testify before the FBI investigates the matter, one of her lawyers, Lisa Banks, said Tuesday night.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, reported first on CNN and obtained by ABC News, lawyers for professor Christine Blasey Ford, said “a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.”
Grassley had invited both Ford and Kavanaugh to testify before the committee on Monday.
“There’s no reason to have a public hearing Monday. This is being rushed through. It’s too important. It’s not a game. This is a serious situation,” Banks said on CNN.
The letter to Grassley says, “As you know, earlier this summer, Dr. Ford sought to tell her story, in confidence, so that
lawmakers would have a fuller understanding of Brett Kavanaugh’s character and history. Only after the details of her experience were leaked did Dr. Ford make the reluctant decision to come forward publicly.”
“In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of
their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online,” the letter continues.
“While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, 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.” While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the Committee and with law enforcement officials,” the letter says.
“As the Judiciary Committee has recognized and done before, an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations,” the letter continues. “A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.”
The letter ends with the lawyers saying, “We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and Ranking Member Feinstein to
discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health
ABC has reached out to Grassley for comment. The White House had no immediate response.
Shortly after the letter was revealed, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, released a statement
saying, “The decision to come forward or not come forward has always been Christine Blasey Ford’s, and that includes her participation in a hearing.”
“I agree with her 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill, Feinstein continued. “I also agree that we need the facts before senators—not staff or lawyers—speak to witnesses.”
“We should honor Dr. Blasey Ford’s wishes and delay this hearing. A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to. Only then should the chairman set a hearing date,” Feinstein said.