Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is talking to the FBI today, not about her allegations against Supreme Court nominee, but about the death threats she’s been receiving since going public with her accusation on Sunday.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray Thursday night, “requesting immediate action by the Bureau to investigate potential federal crimes” against Ford, “which appear intended to intimidate a witness in relation to the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.” Whether the FBI’s intervention in this is in response to this request or one from her lawyers isn’t clear right now.
“We are increasingly concerned by reports of alleged death threats against her, the hacking of her email, and the harassment and intimidation she has faced since being forced into the spotlight late last week,” the senators write, and they should be. It’s the center of the negotiations happening now between Ford’s team and Chairman Chuck Grassley’s Judiciary staff. She has ruled out testifying on the originally scheduled hearing date, Monday, but has opened up the possibility of appearing even without an FBI investigation of her allegations against Kavanaugh.
Ford and her lawyers have rejected the format of just two witnesses—she and Kavanaugh—appearing together. She has also rejected Republicans’ plan to have an outside counsel—specifically a woman and a litigator—lead their questioning. Her terms for testifying include “that the senators must ask the questions—not an outside counsel—and that Judge Kavanaugh not be present in the hearing room while she speaks.”
Per MSNBC, the committee is responding with terms that demonstrate just how scared they are of the optics of the old white Republican men of the committee attacking her. Their counter-offer: “hearing on Wednesday, she goes first, committee gets to bring in an outside lawyer and no additional witnesses. The rest of her requests (on safety, TV pool, etc.) will be accommodated.”
Those terms don’t show much good faith on their part to answer her concerns. They still seem to be following their gambit to keep her from testifying at all, and jamming through the vote as quickly as possible.
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