Christine Blasey Ford to testify against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley agreed late Friday night to allow the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault more time to decide whether to testify before Congress.

Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying that Ford "accepts" the Judiciary committee's request to testify next week. Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford on Friday, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh trapped her in a bedroom, groped her and tried to pull her clothes off. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegation.

"Without agreeing to a date, time, and terms we are no closer to hearing from Dr Ford then we were when her lawyers said Dr Ford was willing to testify during their media tour 6 days ago".

The Republican-led committee had also offered a Wednesday hearing, rather than Thursday as Ford had asked for, and they wanted to reserve the option of having female staff attorneys on the committee do the questioning, even while Ford said she would rather be questioned by senators.

The lawyers say they are "hopeful that we can reach agreement on details" of Ford's appearance.

Earlier this week, Ms Ford's lawyers said that she would not appear before the Senate until the FBI had investigated the allegations.

A Fox News poll released Sunday found 50 percent of voters, if they had a direct say, would vote against confirming him to the high court, while just 40 percent would back him. Trump asked, as he defended his Supreme Court nominee.

It remains to be seen if Republicans either themselves or through an outside lawyer have the nerve to grill Ford about the attack on her and the lifetime of trauma it unleashed. Trump broke his silence to cast doubt on Ford's story Friday in ways Republicans had been carefully trying to avoid.

Grassley's stance reflected a desire by Trump and GOP leaders to usher the 53-year-old Kavanaugh onto the high court by the October 1 start of its new session and before the November elections, when Democrats are mounting a robust drive to grab congressional control. "And by the way, women are for that more than anyone would understand".

That's the new and latest deadline in the high-stakes confrontation over whether Brett Kavanaugh's accuser will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's story became public, she has asked for the FBI to investigate - a request that demonstrates her sincerity and her confidence that an impartial inquiry will further corroborate and confirm the account she has given.

Max Young, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said, "At approximately 2:30 Republicans sent her a proposal and gave her a 5 p.m. deadline". Meanwhile, Democrats have made numerous attempts to stall Kavanaugh's selection, with the GOP still holding a slim majority in the Senate. On the same day that President George W. Bush received this request, White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray directed the FBI to investigate. He said he denies the allegation but stepped down "in order to not be a distraction" as Senate Republicans continue to work to get Kavanaugh confirmed. He told the Values Voter conference, "In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court".

"This is a completely and totally false allegation", he said after Ford came forward last week.

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