Republicans hire female attorney to handle Kavanaugh, Ford questioning

Republicans hire female attorney to handle Kavanaugh, Ford questioning
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans have hired a female attorney to question the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during a highly-anticipated hearing on Thursday, according to Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese MORE (R-Utah).

The woman, whose name has not been released by Republicans, will also question Kavanaugh during the hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT

All 11 Republicans on the Judiciary panel are men, and the GOP was keen to avoid having male Republican senators ask tough questions to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of assault.

The only four women on the panel are all Democrats.

GOP leaders are likely seeking to avoid the memorable optics from the 1991 Anita Hill hearings, when Hill was grilled by an all-male panel about her allegations of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. 

Ford's lawyers in a letter on Monday night criticized Republicans for hiring "an unnamed 'experienced sex crimes prosecutor,'" claiming her involvement could help turn the Judiciary Committee hearing into a "circus." 

Ford's lawyer Michael Bromwich in the letter to Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBooker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, pointed to the female outside counsel to claim the public hearing "does not appear designed to provide Dr. Blasey Ford with fair and respectful treatment."   

Bromwich told Republicans he hopes to to meet with the attorney before Thursday’s hearing, the AP reported.

Ford last week went public with her allegations against Kavanaugh, claiming that he pinned her down and put his hand over her mouth as he groped her over her clothes during a high school party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has forcefully denied her account, saying in a Fox News interview on Monday night that he has not sexually assaulted anybody.