Shortly before Senator Chuck Grassley’s “arbitrary” 2:30 p.m. deadline for a response expired, the legal team of Christine Ford, the California professor who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of groping her 37 years ago at an unknown time at an unknown place responded. The response was less of an acceptance than a demand for more negotiations. Now those negotiations seem to be complete.
NEW: Source familiar with the matter tells The Daily Beast Grassley, Feinstein, and Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys have agreed to a hearing on Thursday. https://t.co/9y6m0LmgUY
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 22, 2018
The Latest: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct tentatively agree to testify Thursday in front of Senate Judiciary Committee. https://t.co/gUJQUD7osc
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 23, 2018
A person briefed on the bipartisan call between Ford and Hill staff told me the call was short but very productive. 15-20 minutes. They tentatively agreed to THURSDAY hearing. But they will discuss more details tomorrow since there some outstanding issues.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 22, 2018
So it seems we are going to have Ford
commit perjury testify on Thursday. We still don’t know what else is being negotiated.
Grassley is in a tough spot. He’s getting all the heat and all the blame, from both sides, and he has very little real authority as the White House and Mitch McConnell are in the mix along with Chuck Schumer.
My personal desire was that Grassley announce last night that the committee was voting Monday due to Ford’s non-response. Realistically, Jeff Flake, who’s basically been acting like Chuck Schumer’s surrogate through all of this, would probably not go for that, which means Kavanaugh would go to the floor without an endorsement by the Judiciary Committee. It is not hard to see how Collins and Murkowski would react to that. Keeping in mind the prize is confirming Kavanaugh, the wisest, if not the most satisfying decision was to allow her to testify on Thursday. Wednesday was already on the table and it would be hard to hold fast to that day for any reason other than just being a dick.
The real proof of whether the GOP is using Fabian tactics or simply going into the fetal position will be apparent in the details. There are only two factors to look at to determine if this is a nothingburger or a total defeat: Will Ford testify before Kavanaugh and will the Committee allow staff attorneys to do the questioning? If those answers are “yes,” nothing else matters. If either of them are no, then the GOP has officially crapped its drawers.
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