Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her as a teenager, has reached an agreement to testify on Thursday local time.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on September 24, 2018

The agreement for Blasey Ford to testify was reached after a negotiation on Saturday local time. Although the two sides have not yet finalised some logistical details, they were confident the hearing would take place.

“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s lawyers said. The hearing will be open to the public and security will be provided for Dr. Ford.

Kavanaugh will testify on Thursday local time

One unresolved issue is whether Senators will question Dr. Ford directly or whether a lawyer will question her instead.

Dr. Ford’s lawyers did confirm, however, that a number of people named by Dr. Ford as potential witnesses to the assault would not be called to testify. Ford had named a number of other students she said were at the party, including Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, but none of them have confirmed they were at the party.

The allegations against Kavanaugh have dominated proceedings at the hearing confirmations for Trump’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court bench.

Trump has previously attacked Dr. Ford on Twitter, writing: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

Kavanaugh has categorically denied committing the assault or even being at the party where the alleged incident took place.

Kavanaugh accused of assaulting Dr. Ford at a party in 1982

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would not “ruin” Kavanaugh’s life over the accusations. “I want to listen to Dr. Ford,” he told Fox News Saturday. “I feel sorry for her. I think she’s being used her. I’m not going to play a game here and tell you this will wipe out his entire life, because if nothing changes, it won’t with me.”

Dr. Ford has described Kavanaugh as being “stumbling drunk” when the alleged assault occurred and the confirmation hearings could turn to the issue of his underage drinking.

“It’s certainly relevant to the whole conversation,” Democrat Senator Richard J. Durbin said on This Week. Dr. Ford has said that they were stumbling drunk at the time that this occurred. And there have been a lot of things said about the alcohol that was consumed by the judge as well as by others in his school. That has to be part of any relevant questioning.”

Kavanaugh’s appointment would tip the balance of the Supreme Court bench in favour of a conservative bloc and would possibly see key cases such as Roe v Wade overturned.

Opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination has grown recently in light of the accusations but it still largely divided along partisan lines.