Kavanaugh accuser will testify publicly if conditions are 'fair'

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sex assault decades ago says she'd be willing to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week if they can agree to terms "that are fair and which ensure her safety."

The email from an attorney for Christine Blasey Ford to committee aides also says that holding the session on Monday isn't possible. Panel chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said Monday would be her chance to testify.

Ford's lawyers have said she's received death threats.

Ford has said she wants the FBI to investigate her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s.

Lawyer Debra Katz writes that Ford's "strong preference" remains a full investigation before she testifies.

Republicans say they've tried to accommodate Ford, offering to let her testify in public or private and suggesting that committee aides would travel to her California home to take testimony. Kavanaugh, currently a judge on the powerful District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, has denied her allegation.

Democrats have leapt to support Ford, with Washington state Sen. Patty Murray saying Thursday that Republicans should be "ashamed" for pushing forward without a fair investigation. That echoed Democrats' effort to broaden the nomination fight into a referendum on whether women who allege abuse are taken seriously by men — a theme that could echo in this November's elections for control of Congress.

"If you have been assaulted or harassed by a powerful Republican man, you better not talk about it or you're going to pay a price," Murray said concerning Ford's situation.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said Republicans are "bullying" Ford by giving her a Monday deadline to testify to the committee. Gillibrand said Republicans want a "he said, she said" scenario because men are usually believed.

Kavanaugh was spotted at the White House Thursday, and allies say he is eager to address the accusation and will be prepared to address the committee Monday.

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