POLITICS
09/21/2018 12:42 am ET

Christine Blasey Ford's Attorneys Lay Out Conditions For Senate Hearing

Negotiations for the Supreme Court nominee's accuser to speak to the Senate panel mostly focused on logistics and safety issues, news outlets reported.

Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the professor accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her when they were teens, reportedly presented the Senate Judiciary Committee with a list of conditions on Thursday, moving forward negotiations for a hearing before the committee next week.

Some of the conditions included Kavanaugh not being present during Blasey’s testimony and for the committee to not turn the hearing into a “media circus.”

Attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks offered the suggestions during a call held with the committee’s staff members on Thursday night after the attorneys notified the committee in an email that the Californian, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, was prepared to testify next week.

The negotiations for the hearing mostly focused on logistics and safety issues and lasted only about 30 minutes, The New York Times and Washington Post reported. NBC News obtained an email sent to the call’s participants summarizing what was discussed.

During the call, Blasey’s legal team asked that Kavanaugh speak first at the hearing, according to Politico. 

The attorneys also asked if the senators could preside over questioning instead of bringing in outside counsel, a senior congressional source with knowledge of the call told CNN. With no female Republicans on the committee, the senators considered using their female aides to question Blasey at the hearing.

Blasey’s attorneys also asked if the committee could subpoena Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend whom Blasey said was in the room during the alleged assault, according to The Associated Press. Judge has denied witnessing the alleged assault and refused to speak publicly on the matter.

They also discussed having only one camera in the room during the hearing and asked that the hearing take place on Thursday instead of Monday, which committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had suggested earlier this week.

After the call, Taylor Foy, a Grassley spokesman, said the senator “will consult with his colleagues on the committee. He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.”

Earlier Thursday, Katz emailed the Senate Judiciary Committee to let them know that Blasey was prepared to testify next week as long as “terms are fair” and “ensure her safety.”

However, Katz maintained that Blasey still preferred that the committee fully investigated her claims before she testified.

Blasey, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, has publicly accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly assaulting her during a party in Maryland when they were both in high school. In an interview with The Washington Post, Blasey said Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed and groped her as Judge, who also appeared to be drunk, watched. 

Blasey claimed Kavanaugh covered her mouth when she tried to scream. She said was able to escape after Judge jumped on them both and toppled them off the bed. 

Kavanaugh and Judge have both denied Blasey’s allegation.

In a letter sent to the committee on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he looked forward to the Monday hearing, adding that he wanted one “as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name.”

“Since the moment I first heard this allegation, I have categorically and unequivocally denied it,” the Supreme Court nominee wrote. “I remain committed to defending my integrity.”

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