Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who lodged sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said Tuesday she wants the FBI to investigate the incident before a hearing is held, CNN reports.
Ford's attorneys in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, say "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."
Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago when both were teenagers in high school. She went public with her claim over the weekend, and senators on the Judiciary Committee have since scrambled to figure out next steps – including a potential hearing Monday that would proceed with Ford.
Ford's attorneys said they welcomed the opportunity to talk with Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., "to discuss reasonable steps as to how Dr. Ford can cooperate while also taking care of her own health and security."
"She is prepared to cooperate with the committee and with any law enforcement investigation," she added.
Since going public, Ford has "been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats," said her attorneys.
The development comes as President Donald Trump showered sympathy on his embattled Supreme Court nominee and as Senate Republicans and Democrats fought determinedly over who should testify at a high-stakes hearing on the allegation just six weeks before major congressional elections.
Democrats have said they wanted more time for the FBI to investigate — and more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what would turn into merely a "he-said-she-said" moment. Those witnesses would include Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted, but Judge said no. Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation, and Judge says he doesn't remember any such incident.
Feinstein, the ranking member on the committe, said the rush to hold a hearing Monday was "unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill. 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."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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