The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of having attempted to force himself on her at a party when they were both in high school says she is willing to testify about the alleged sexual assault. Kavanaugh has responded in a statement Monday by saying he is also willing to testify under oath.
On Monday, the lawyer representing California professor Christine Blasey Ford says she is willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the "attempted rape" she says happened over three decades ago that was brought to light by Democrats in the eleventh hour of the confirmation process:
Kavanaugh adamantly denies the allegation, as does the other man named by Ford, Mark Judge.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said when the allegation first came to light last week.
Judge, who Ford says was there in the room, also denies the allegation, telling the Weekly Standard, "I can recall a lot of rough-housing with guys. It was an all-boys school, we would rough-house with each other. I don’t remember any of that stuff going on with girls."
On Monday, Kavanaugh said he was willing to make his statement under oath:
"This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity."
Ford says in a letter sent to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein back in July — a letter which Feinstein sat on until after the confirmation hearing had wrapped up — that the alleged assault took place at a pool party when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17 and both were drunk:
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980's… The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others. Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help. Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with [Mark Judge], who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me. From across the room a very drunken [Judge] said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."
At one point when [Judge] jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home…. I have received medical treatment regarding the assault.
Ford did not tell anyone about the alleged incident until couples therapy with her husband in 2012, but she reportedly didn't name Kavanaugh at the time, stating only that it was boys from a nearby elite high school who are now "highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington." The therapist's notes say that four boys attacked her, but Ford says that the therapist was mistaken: four boys were at the party, just two were in the room.
In his initial response to the allegations, Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley slammed Feinstein and Democrats on the committee for their handling of the allegations and signaled that the confirmation vote Thursday would go as planned. "It's disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago, during high school, would surface on the eve of a committee vote after Democrats sat on them since July," he said in a statement Sunday afternoon. "If Ranking Member Feinstein and other Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier. Instead, they said nothing during two joint phone calls with the nominee in August, four days of lengthy public hearings, a closed session for all committee members with the nominee where sensitive topics can be discussed and in more than 1,300 written questions. Sixty-five senators met individually with Judge Kavanaugh during a nearly two-month period before the hearing began, yet Feinstein didn’t share this with her colleagues ahead of many of those discussions."