Christine Blasey Ford's attorney, Lisa Banks, told CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday that Ford will not testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee unless the FBI investigates the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.
The big picture: Even if the FBI agrees to investigate, Banks explained, a proper investigation cannot be done on Monday. "Asking her to come forward in four or five days in front of the committee is not a fair process. She will work with them in the investigation... There should be no rush. It’s premature to talk about a [hearing] on Monday," Banks said.
Ford's attorneys sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, obtained by CNN, that says:
- An FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing the allegations, as it has been done in the past.
- The letter alleges Ford has received public support but also threats, her email has been hacked and she has been impersonated online since her being forced to go public.
- She is willing to cooperate with both the committee and law enforcement to make sure the committee is fully informed before a hearing takes place.
- "The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is 'mistaken' and 'mixed up.'"
What they're saying:
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): "I support Dr. Blasey Ford’s request for an FBI background investigation before a hearing. She should not be bullied into participating in a biased process and we should not rush forward before facts are gathered."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) tweeted in a thread: "I agree with her 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill. I also agree that we need the facts before senators—not staff or lawyers—speak to witnesses."