Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school, has hired Democratic operative Ricki Seidman to help navigate a potential hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Seidman, now a senior principal at TSD Communications, confirmed her role in an interview with Politico

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Seidman worked as then-Sen. Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDem strategist says Clinton ‘absolutely’ has a role to play in 2020 It's Bernie Sanders vs. Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire Harry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus MORE’s (D-Del.) communications director during the 2008 presidential race after Biden was picked as then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Obama goes viral after sporting black bomber jacket with '44' on sleeve at basketball game Obama attends UNC-Duke basketball game MORE’s (D-Ill.) running mate. She also assisted in guiding Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

Before then, Seidman was a deputy communications director in the Clinton White House.

Politico reports Seidman was hired to give Ford personal advice on how to navigate the intense spotlight that comes with being implicated in Kavanaugh’s high-intensity Supreme Court nomination.

While Kavanaugh has been seen in the White House over the past several days, likely to prepare for the rest of the confirmation process and to deal with the fallout of Ford’s allegations, a source tells Politico that Ford has not been participating in mock proceedings or other traditional hearing preparations.

Ford initially said she was willing to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but balked and said she would want an FBI investigation into her allegations completed before that happened.

But The New York Times reported Thursday that Ford’s lawyer told the committee she would be prepared to testify next week if senators offer "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”

Seidman’s new role in Ford’s hearing could bolster claims by some Republicans that her accusations are a politically motivated attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

“This feels more like a Democratic super PAC than a legal effort to get at the truth,” a senior Republican official told Politico.

Ford has denied have any political animus against Kavanaugh and many Republicans have tried to find ways to hear her testimony in a setting that would make Ford comfortable.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin MORE (R-Iowa) said he was willing to send committee staffers to California to hear what Ford had to say. 

“It is my understanding that the committee has offered to hold either a public or a private session, whichever would make her more comfortable,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham: 'Handful' of GOP senators will vote to block Trump's emergency declaration Dems set up Tuesday vote to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump MORE (R-Maine), a crucial swing vote in Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation, said earlier this week.