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Sunday February 25, 2024

Sex assault: SC nominee gets more time to decide on hearing

By AFP
September 23, 2018

WASHINGTON: The woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee was given until Saturday afternoon to decide on testifying in the Senate -- hours after the US president claimed her accusation could not be true.

Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who says conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh carried out a violent sexual assault against her when he was 17 and she was 15, insists she is ready to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But she rejected a Friday evening deadline imposed by the committee´s Republican leader, Chuck Grassley, to agree to his terms for the hearing, which he said should take place next Wednesday.

Grassley had said that if she did not agree, he would schedule a vote on confirming Kavanaugh to the lifetime position on the Supreme Court on Monday, without her testimony.

A statement by Ford's lawyers carried by CNN asked for one more day to respond, calling the deadline "arbitrary."

Friday night, in a tweet addressing Kavanuagh directly, Grassley said he had given Ford more time to decide -- until 2:30 pm Saturday, according to a New York Times report.

"Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford", Grassley wrote, adding Ford should decide "so we can move on."

"I want to hear her. I hope u understand", he added. "It´s not my normal approach to b indecisive".

Ford has said she wants to testify Thursday at the earliest and to be able to call as a witness a man who she says was present during the assault, when they were all teenagers attending private schools near Washington.

But the committee's Republican leadership has turned down those demands.