Republicans are mulling a deal to give Christine Ford more time to state her case, pushing the proposed proceedings back to Wednesday.
The catch: Ford would have to testify first, ahead of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault when they were in high school.
According to CNN, that was the latest deal that Republicans were considering as they tried to move along Kavanaugh’s nomination process before the president became unstuck. He unloaded on Ford in a Friday morning rant on Twitter.
Christine Ford (left) has accused Brett Kavanaugh of pinning her down to a bed during a party more than 35 years ago, covering her mouth, and groping her over a one-piece bathing suit while he tried to disrobe her. Kavanaugh flatly denies that it ever happened
Ford has been in the eye of a Washington maelstrom since identifying herself last Sunday, with Republicans demanding her Capitol Hill testimony and Democrats rallying to defend her.
She said in her latest offer, through attorneys, that she’d be willing to talk publicly about her experience but she wants Kavanaugh to testify first. She also wants to be questioned by senators and not a lawyer.
The position puts the GOP’s panel of white, male senators in a sticky position. They’re looking at an option where a female lawyer would conduct the interview with Ford to avoid the appearance of questions that are untoward.
Senate Democrats are rejecting that proposal on the grounds that senators, not an outside lawyer, will vote on Kavanaugh.
A hearing at which both the accuser and the accused would have a chance to speak under oath was initially set for Monday. That plan fell apart as Ford demanded an FBI probe into her claims first.
When the FBI declined to investigate the matter, Ford’s lawyers said their client would be willing to speak but only under certain conditions that Senate Republicans have not met.
President Donald Trump had mostly held his tongue, saying he trusted senators to do their jobs and only wanted the FBI to investigate if that’s what the law enforcement agency thought it should do.
He started to lose his patience on Thursday, however, as the saga dragged on, saying in an interview with Fox News: ‘Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago? I mean, you could also say when did this all happen, what is going on?’
Trump suggested Friday that Ford should have filed a police report 36 years ago – and challenged her to produce one to prove her case.
‘I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,’ he tweeted Friday. ‘I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!’
He went on to claim that ‘radical left’ lawyers are pushing for the probe he believes should have taken place after the alleged incident would have occurred three decades ago.
There is no evidence to suggest Ford told her parents about an incident at the time, or that anyone in her family reported it to law enforcement in Maryland, where she alleges the attack took place.
President Donald Trump now says the woman who accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers should produce a police report to prove it
Trump broke his pattern of avoiding mentioning Christine Ford’s name, saying that ‘if the attack … was as bad as she says’ there must be a law-enforcement report somewhere
The president also needled Democrats who have demanded an FBI probe, saying that they should have called the agency 36 years ago
Trump incubated the idea on Thursday night before a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, telling Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity that federal law enforcement should have been involved with investigating a state-level sex crime in 1982.
‘Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?’ he asked.
The president reiterated that unusual question Friday morning on Twitter: ‘The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW. Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?’
Ford spoke to no one of her experience until 2012 when she and her husband discussed it in therapy.
Kavanaugh denies ever assaulting Ford, or anyone else.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday at the Value Voters Summit in Washington that the Kavanaugh confirmation process will plow forward
Trupm continues to defend his Supreme Court nominee while painting Democrats as obstructionists who ‘just want to destroy and delay’
Christine Blasey (now Ford) and Brett Kavanaugh are pictured in their high school yearbooks
The president had until Friday taken great pains to avoid challenging Ford by name. He defended Kavanaugh during the Las Vegas rally but insisted: ‘I’m not saying anything about anybody else.’
Before engaging Friday morning, he blasted his political nemeses for accepting Ford’s story at face value no matter the consequences.
‘Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay,’ Trump tweeted.
‘Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.’
But Democrats are furious that Trump has broken his silence about Ford.
‘It’s victim-shaming,’ a Senate Democratic aide said Friday. ‘It’s inexcusable.’
Trump told Hannity on Thursday night that the Senate Judiciary Committee should move swiftly to finish vetting Kavanaugh.
Committee Republicans are trying to secure a commitment from Ford to appear at a hearing on Monday.
‘I say let her say what she has to say and let’s see how it all comes out,’ Trump told said inside a Las Vegas arena before his scheduled rally. ‘But they’ve delayed it a week, and they have to get on with it.’
Minutes later the president stood behind his podium and exclaimed: ‘Look at our judges! What’s going on?’
Thousands spontaneously began chanting Kavanaugh’s name before Trump could mention it himself.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted Friday morning, just an hour after Trump tweeted his attack on Ford, that the Kavanaugh confirmation would plow ahead.
‘President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You’ve watched the fight. You’ve watched the tactics,’ McConnell said at the Value Voters Summit in Washington.
‘Here’s what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.’