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Kavanaugh accuser ‘moving the goalposts’

Politics

Kavanaugh accuser ‘moving the goalposts’

Megan Keller

A GOP senator argued Wednesday that the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault is “moving the goal posts” as Republicans try to speak with her.

“We’ve done everything we can to try to accommodate Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford, either her or her lawyers keep moving the goal posts, which is a little frustrating,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La) told Fox News.

The comments from Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echo remarks from other GOP senators and come as Republicans on the panel seek to speak with the Palo Alto University professor about her allegations against Kavanaugh.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of holding her down at a party in the early 1980s when both were in high school and trying to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations and said he would testify.

Lawyers for Ford on Tuesday night pulled back on any plans for her to testify before the Judiciary Committee early next week, saying the FBI should investigate her claims first. The lawyers also noted that she has received threats and was forced to leave her house in California.

Republicans called the move an attempt to delay past the November midterm elections. The GOP was initially expected to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination this Thursday, before Ford’s allegations emerged.

The Justice Department has said that the allegations are not in the FBI’s jurisdiction, noting that it investigates potential federal crimes or evidence someone may pose a national security risk.

Still, some Senate Democrats have pushed for the FBI to reopen its background check investigation into Kavanaugh.

Ford has said she does not remember when or where the alleged assault occurred, beyond that it was at a party in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s.

Republicans have pushed for Ford to testify at the hearing Monday. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also said he is willing to send staff to speak with Ford in California if that would make her more comfortable. 

Kennedy told Fox on Wednesday that he still thought Ford might show up Monday.

“I’m not convinced, I know I’m in the minority, that Dr. Ford won’t appear Monday,” Kennedy said. “She’s changed her mind a couple of times in this process, I’m not being critical, she just has.”

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have said that the committee must move on as quickly as possible.

Corker, who urged the committee to pause the confirmation process to hear from Ford, said Tuesday night, “If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.”

“You gotta put this in context. The confirmation process is over,” Kennedy said. “I’m not being critical, I’m being factual when I say this is an 11th-hour allegation, but we met and said we need to do the right thing here.”

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