McConnell warns Senate it could work through Christmas break
Grassley extends deadline for Kavanaugh accuser to decide on testifying
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said late Friday night that he is giving Christine Blasey Ford more time to decide whether to testify on her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Grassley wrote on Twitter that he had "just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] the statement she made last week to testify to the senate."
The GOP chairman didn't specify how long of an extension he is giving Ford, but his announcement kicks the negotiations over a public hearing into at least Saturday.
Grassley wrote on Twitter that Ford "[should] decide so we can move on," adding, "I want to hear her."
He noted the Judiciary Committee had given Ford five extensions to decide if she wanted to meet with the Senate panel.
"Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u," Grassley added in a tweet.
Grassley's tweets came as staff for the GOP senator and lawyers for Ford struggle to reach an agreement on Ford testifying publicly before the committee next week.
Grassley had set a 10 p.m. deadline Friday for Ford to respond to his staff and warned that the Judiciary Committee could move Monday to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.
Lawyers for the 51-year-old professor sent an email to Judiciary Committee staff on Friday night asking for an extra day for her to consider testifying while blasting the Friday night deadline.
Ford's lawyer Debra Katz called the 10 p.m. deadline set by Grassley's staff "arbitrary" and "aggressive and artificial."
Ford's lawyers initially proposed a public hearing on Thursday; asked the committee to subpoena Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh classmate and potential witness; and that Kavanaugh testify first.
Judiciary Committee staff responded on Friday with the offer of a Wednesday hearing, that Kavanaugh testify second and rejected her request to subpoena Judge.
Committee staff did agree to limit the number of cameras and keep Kavanaugh and Ford out of the same room.
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down at a high school party in the early 1980s and attempting to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegations and said he would testify next week.