NEW ATTORNEY FOR ACCUSER ASKS TO MEET WITH SPECIAL PROSECUTOR BEFORE THURSDAY
by Sharon Rondeau
Michael Bromwich, who also represents fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, asked for the special prosecutor’s résumé and to meet with her before Thursday’s 10:00 AM hearing. He also objected to remarks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made on the Senate floor on Monday characterizing Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh as part of a “shameful smear campaign” against the nominee.
McConnell does not sit on the Judiciary Committee.
The accusation came well after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings had ended and it appeared a vote would take place not only in committee, but also in the Senate as a whole prior to the October 1 commencement of the Supreme Court calendar.
Constitutionally, it is the role of the U.S. Senate to provide “advice and consent” to nominations made by the president for cabinet officers and federal judges.
On Sunday, the law firm representing Ford, Katz Marshall & Banks, LLP, said that it reached an agreement with Grassley for Ford to testify Thursday morning and that any outstanding issues would not present an obstacle to her appearing. Bromwich since joined in the firm’s representation of Ford, abruptly resigning from his own law firm over the weekend to do so.
Katz recently testified to the House Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues on the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace. She is a Democrat activist and participant in the “Resist” movement against the Trump presidency. She additionally sits on the Board of Directors of a George Soros-funded organization.
On Sunday Grassley requested in a letter Ford’s bio and all materials she plans to use in her testimony by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, quoting “committee rules.” The Judiciary Committee’s website was later updated to show that the hearing, originally scheduled for Monday morning, was rescheduled to Thursday at 10:00 AM.
As had Katz early on in the negotiations, Bromwich objected to the White House’s declination to refer Ford’s allegations to the FBI for “a thorough non-partisan investigation.”
For his part, Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the claims and indicated his eagerness to testify immediately. On Monday, he interviewed with Fox News reporter Martha MacCallum, joined by his wife Ashley. In the 23-minute interview, MacCallum asked a number of questions about Kavanaugh’s high school and college years, to which Kavanaugh responded that he had never reached a point of inebriation whereby he was unaware of his actions or surroundings. He said he did not know Ford and denied ever having sexually assaulted anyone in his life. He claimed he has always treated women with “dignity and respect” and cited his record of having employed the highest number of female law clerks in his office of any federal judge.
Ashley Kavanaugh stressed that Ford’s accusation, as well as sketchy follow-on allegations emerging Sunday evening from a former Yale Law school student were difficult to discuss with their two young daughters. Mrs. Kavanaugh said that at the beginning of the nomination process, they prepared their daughters for a difficult time but did not expect objections over her husband’s nomination to reach the current level.
Grassley reported Sunday to journalist Paul Sperry that the Kavanaugh family has been receiving an increasing number of death threats. Ford’s attorneys claim their client has received the same since making her name known.
Ford reportedly wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday in which she said she had wished to maintain her privacy over the allegation, yet ranking committee member Dianne Feinstein made its contents public by first sharing it with the FBI, which shared it with the White House. The White House then informed Grassley, who felt obligated to investigate the claim.
Grassley did not receive an unredacted version of the letter until Monday, the Judiciary Committee website reported.
Kavanaugh also addressed the committee in a letter Monday in which he stated he will not withdraw his nomination in the face of multiple “false” accusations and that he wishes to clear his name.
Ford identified herself as the author of the letter to Feinstein as reported by The Washington Post on September 16. Its article relates Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party during the summer of 1982 when he was 17 and she 15. Details as to how she arrived at the party where underage drinking was allegedly occurring, how she returned home, and the address of the gathering were not provided.
NBC News’s Frank Thorpe commented in his Twitter feed Monday night that in light of the Bromwich letter, Ford’s expected testimony Thursday “does not appear to be a done deal.”
Grassley has twice postponed a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination as a result of Ford’s claims.
Bromwich’s letter restated Katz’s request that no outside counsel be utilized and that only members of the committee could pose questions to Ford. Bromwich claimed that staff investigator Mike Davis failed to answer questions about the special prosecutor and objected to Davis’s alleged comparison of the nature of the hearing to that of “the Watergate or Iran-Contra hearings.”
At 12:02 PM on Tuesday, The Post & Email contacted the office of the press secretary for the committee’s Majority. The gentleman to whom we spoke said he could not speak to whether or not Grassley will grant Bromwich’s request or requests. When we asked for his name, he said he was unable to provide it due to the “high volume of calls” being received today.