Christine Blasey Ford will relive trauma from more than 30 years ago as her alleged attacker, Brett Kavanaugh, sits through confirmation hearings, which could place him in a seat of power over law for a generation.
Ford, a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, struggled to come forward. Her lawyer, Debra Katz, said on Monday that she is willing to tell her story in public to a Senate panel considering Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh, who was a football and basketball player at Georgetown Preparatory School, entered her bedroom during a party, intoxicated, pinned his full body weight on her, groped, grinded and tried to pull her bathing suit and clothing off. When she tried to scream, he put his hand over her mouth. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said.
“She believes that but for his inebriation and his inability to take her clothes off, he would have raped her,” Katz said.
Kavanaugh’s statement: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said.
Initially, the sexual misconduct allegation was conveyed in a private letter, with a request for anonymity.
Ultimately, Ford said she felt it was her duty as a citizen to come forward, but like many victims of sexual assault the discrediting has already begun.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said in a statement on Sunday: “It raises a lot of questions about Democrats’ tactics and motives to bring this to the rest of the committee’s attention only now rather than during these many steps along the way. Senator Feinstein should publicly release the letter she received back in July so that everyone can know what she’s known for weeks.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s statement defended Ford’s right to share her story when she was ready. Ford had written a letter to the California senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee detailing the accusation, but asking not to be identified.
The White House stands by Kavanaugh and released a letter from 65 women who knew him in high school to counter the allegation:
“Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity,” the women wrote. “In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day.”
Trump also threw his support behind Roy Moore after allegations of his sexual assault during his time as a prosecutor in his 30s. During Moore’s special election campaign for U.S. Senate, public allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him. Three women stated that he had sexually assaulted them when they were ages of 14, 16 and 28.
Feinstein, in her statement, said “from the outset, I have believed these allegations were extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh’s character.”
“I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee,” Feinstein said.
Senator Chuck Schumer said: “Judge Kavanaugh’s credibility has already been seriously questioned and now his credibility is even more suspect.
“To railroad a vote now would be an insult to the women of America and the integrity of the Supreme Court.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an influential member of the Judiciary Committee, issued a statement, which said he’s open to hearing directly from Ford and would “gladly listen to what she has to say.”