Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley today rejected the Democrats’ request to delay Thursday’s hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (The real hearing, of course, ended a couple of weeks ago, and this is a post-hearing farce.) His letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein is embedded below. A few choice quotes:
You suggest that Dr. Ford’s testimony should be further delayed because of allegations made in the New Yorker by Deborah Ramirez. I am unclear why Ms. Ramirez’s claims should have any bearing on Dr. Ford’s testimony. In fact, the obvious connection between the two claims is that Senate Democrats hid both allegations of misconduct from the Committee and the public.
I think Grassley is losing patience. At last.
As of now, the only allegations of which the Committee is aware with respect to Ms. Ramirez are the allegations described in the New Yorker. As you know, false statements made to the press are not subject to criminal penalty, but false statements to Congress are. If Ms. Ramirez submits testimony and evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Committee investigators have requested, we can decide how to proceed. But, at this time, Democratic staff has not shared any such evidence it has with Republican staff.
Here is the letter; click to enlarge:
I should add that the letter comes from Margot Cleveland’s Twitter feed, the only place I have seen it.
Grassley’s letter assumes that Ford will testify on Thursday pursuant to the Committee’s invitation, but it is not clear that Ford will actually show up. At last word, Committee staff were still going back and forth with Ford’s lawyers–who are obnoxious partisans–about the logistics of her testimony. In my view, Ford’s lawyers (who is paying them, by the way?) seem to be looking for a way out, an excuse for Ford not to appear.
Why might Ms. Ford want to dodge a Committee appearance? Grassley’s admonition with regard to the criminal penalties for lying to Congress apply to Ford as much as to Ramirez, and, while there is probably zero chance of Ford facing criminal prosecution–however much she may deserve it–lying under oath is uncomfortable for most people. I think it is entirely possible that Ford may not appear on Thursday, in which case the Democrats’ delaying tactics will collapse and Kavanaugh will speedily be confirmed. Alternatively, if Ford does show up, she will face cross-examination by an actual lawyer, which could have the same effect. Speaking for myself, I would gladly cross-examine her for free; or would have during my lawyer days, anyway. Her testimony, should she choose to give it, is ridiculously weak.
A reader raises some questions about Ford’s account that, while obviously secondary at best, given her story’s patent falsity, are nevertheless interesting and could play a part in her apparent reluctance to testify under oath:
Could the house where the alleged party took place actually be…Christine’s house? Maybe her parents were away. That would explain why (1) no one drove her there; (2) no one drove her “home” after the alleged incident; (3) why she couldn’t tell her parents. She never left her own party which is why Leland didn’t notice anything.
It’s not like her family wasn’t relatively socially prominent in the area; her father was president of Burning Tree at one point. There would have been hell to pay if he ever knew that his daughter had been “assaulted” by Georgetown Prep kids.
There were, supposedly 5 kids present. The party, as has been pointed out, must have been held at the home of one of them. Or are we to believe it was at the (empty) house of someone not present?
No wonder she doesn’t want to testify! I can see a great female criminal attorney or litigator destroying her in cross examination.
So can I. I will say, however, that the more salient reason why Ford couldn’t tell her parents about the assault is that the assault never happened. It was manufactured decades after the fact for political purposes.