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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Brett Kavanaugh’s sex abuse accuser to testify on Thursday before Senate panel

A woman who has accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify before a Senate panel, her lawyers said on Saturday.

world Updated: Sep 23, 2018 23:45 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh looks on during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
US Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh looks on during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.(Reuters)

The woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has agreed to testify in the Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday confirmed that the public hearing of Christine Blasey Ford will be held on Thursday. “We committed to moving forward with an open hearing on Thursday, September 27 at 10:00 am. Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her,” said a statement from Ford’s lawyers, quoted by US media.

Trump will be in New York this week for the UN General Assembly but will be keeping an eye on the hearing.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh and a friend pushed her into a bedroom of a house they were partying one summer in Maryland when she was 15 and he 17. Kavanaugh pinned her down to the bed, lying on top of her and groped her, she has alleged.

Kavanaugh has denied this ever happened; as has his friend.

And in what it being considered as a setback to the accuser, a friend she had cited as being one of the five people at the party, Leland Ingham Keyser, has said in a statement to the committee that she “does not know Mr Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr Ford”.

Referring to that statement and those from some others said to have been present at the party, the White House said in a statement on Saturday, “One week ago, Dr Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others. Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate judiciary committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.”

But Ford’s lawyers had said they are not surprised by Keyser’s remarks.

“It’s not surprising that Ms Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it,” Debra Katz, one of the Fords’a attorney’s, said.

“It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there.”