Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser hasn't confirmed she'll testify at Monday hearing

Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser hasn't confirmed she'll testify at Monday hearing
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBrady releases revised version of year-end tax package Overnight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower House set to vote on bill cracking down on drug companies overcharging Medicaid MORE (R-Iowa) said on Tuesday that a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault hasn't confirmed that she will testify publicly next week.

Grassley told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that his staff had reached out to Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, over the past 36 hours but was still waiting for a response.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours three or four times by email and we have not heard from them, so it kind of raises the question do they want to come to the public hearing or not," Grassley said.

Grassley added he hoped Ford would come to Monday's hearing. Asked if the Judiciary Committee would hold the high-profile, televised hearing if she did not attend, Grassley demurred but appeared to question what the point would be.

"Do they want to have the hearing or not? We're delaying the vote strictly to get all the facts out on the table," Grassley said. "What would be the purpose of the hearing if Dr. Ford doesn't want to respond?"

The Judiciary Committee announced on Monday night that it would hold a public hearing with Ford and Kavanaugh the following Monday, a little more than a week after Ford went public with her accusation that Kavanaugh held her down, groped her and attempted to take her clothes off during a party while they were both in high school in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing and told senators privately on Sunday that he was willing to testify.

A lawyer for Ford also said on Monday that her client was willing to publicly testify after initially sending a private letter to California lawmakers describing the alleged incident.

Asked on Tuesday if he would hold a second hearing if Ford could not appear on Monday, Grassley said Republicans are "taking things step by step."

"I don't know why you would need more time. She wants to talk to us. She told us she wanted to talk to us and you think the sooner the better," Grassley said.

A spokesman for Grassley added later Tuesday that Senate GOP Judiciary Committee staff has “reached out to Dr. Ford’s lawyer with multiple emails” to set up a call and inform her of the hearing, but the lawyer has not responded.

--This report was updated at 11:50 a.m.