Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa holds the gavel close while listening to testimony by Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla on Puerto Rico’s fiscal problems, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Puerto Rico and its debt crisis takes center stage in Congress as its governor testifies before a Senate panel about the U.S. commonwealth’s financial woes and the demands of creditors.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
At least that’s the rumor right now.
News: Sources tell @eschor @burgessev and me that Ford's lawyer is trying to impose conditions on her testimony. Judiciary Committee staffers right now skeptical Monday hearing will happen – https://t.co/aollyZVEvr
— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) September 18, 2018
SCOTUS LATEST: Grassley says Kavanaugh’s accuser has not yet confirmed she will testify. 1 GOP lawmaker says Rs considering a 3rd party to question Ford to make hearing less political. @eschor
@burgessev @elianayjohnson -> https://t.co/8CHcIKrddL
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) September 18, 2018
NEW: Grassley tells @hughhewitt the Monday hearing will be Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford, with Ford speaking first and broadcast live. BUT he says Ford/her lawyer have not yet responded any of their communications
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) September 18, 2018
Here are more details from Politico:
“She can come if she likes, but if she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to,” Graham said on Fox News. “Kavanaugh can come, and I think he will. We will vote on Wednesday.”
Grassley himself, however, declined to commit to any timing for a committee vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee in brief remarks to reporters Monday night as he left the Capitol following a chaotic day of speculation about the future of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
While the GOP waits to hear about whether Ford will testify, they also are discussing the use of a third-party to question Ford in an effort to make the hearing appear more fair and less political, according to one GOP senator. But Grassley appeared uncertain whether that approach could succeed, quipping Monday night that “I don’t know how you shut a senator up if they want to ask questions.”
The high degree of uncertainty surrounding Monday’s planned hearing has left official Washington on a state of high alert about Kavanaugh.
In conversations with associates, one Judiciary Committee staffer put the odds of Ford testifying before the full committee at 50 percent and said there was just a 25 percent chance she’d appear at a public hearing.
The reluctance of Ford’s attorney to put Ford before a televised hearing is understandable. Liars don’t do all that well in that environment unless they are practiced sociopaths like John Brennan and James Comey. The real target here, of course, is Jeff Flake and Bob Corker (to overcome their objections about not hearing Ford, and I think a hearing she boycotts will do that) and, of course, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. As with Flake and Corker, I think Ford’s failure to show would be taken as a sign of bad faith. But the goalposts are shifting.
“We need to judge Brett Kavanaugh, not just by what he may or may not have done, but how he treats a woman’s pain. Will he take her pain seriously? Do the people interrogating her take her pain seriously?” https://t.co/LGDdKqR73J
— ana marie cox (@anamariecox) September 18, 2018
Now pressure will be put on Kavanaugh to empathize with Ford’s pain no matter whether the source of the pain is real. If he is sympathetic to her Passion then he tacitly acknowledges his own guilt and admits to being a liar. If he holds fast to his stance that he’s innocent then he’s disrespectful of her experience and actually Hitler.
The real question is what next? Does the GOP leadership pull on its big boy pants and do what needs to be done, which is vote on Kavanaugh? Or does it remain in its favorite deer-in-the-headlights stance and do nothing?
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