Democrats Change Lines on Ford Testimony

• September 21, 2018 3:40 pm


Several Senate Democrats have changed their rhetoric on how and when Christine Blasey Ford should testify about her accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) told the Democrat & Chronicle on Monday she hoped there would be "some measure of review, maybe a hearing" on Ford's accusation, but by Wednesday, she told CNN Ford should not participate in a "sham hearing."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) called on Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) on Monday to give Ford a chance to be heard out, but the next day, while praising the invitation to her, said any hearing had to be "done right" with an FBI investigation.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said a committee hearing with Kavanaugh and Ford was "the only way to go" during a CNN interview on Monday, and Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) said he was "encouraged" by the hearing scheduled for Ford. Both were singing a different tune later in the week, with Durbin wondering if the hearing would be "credible" and Coons worrying if there would be enough witnesses for the hearing to be legitimate.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) told NPR on Monday that she expected both Kavanaugh and Ford to testify in an "atmosphere of transparency." In a CNN interview later in the week, Hirono blasted Republicans for suggesting they would move along without her if she decided not to testify.

Ford's legal representation is negotiating with the committee about her testifying next week about the allegation, which Kavanaugh has denied. Kavanaugh has expressed eagerness to testify to clear his name.