Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, is asking for an FBI investigation before a Senate hearing, according to CNN and The New York Times.
CNN reported Tuesday night that Ford's letter, released through her attorney, is addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Ford says she has been targeted by "vicious harassment and even death threats" since coming forward with the allegations.
Appearing on "Anderson Cooper 360," Ford's attorney Lisa Banks said Ford was "not prepared to talk" at the planned Monday hearing.
"Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process," Banks said. "If they care about doing the right thing here and treating this seriously as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this, and she will work with them in that investigation and also to share her story with the committee."
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In a statement later Tuesday, Grassley said the committee's "invitation for Monday still stands."
Dr. Ford's testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events," Grassley said. "Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay."
In a late-night tweet, President Donald Trump said, "The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President. I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching, and studying, the Democrats Playbook."
Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her down on the bed of an upstairs room while they were both attending a party in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 1982. She told The Washington Post that Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh, watched and laughed as Kavanaugh tried to remove her clothes and held his hand over her mouth so she couldn't scream. Judge has said he has no memory of the alleged assault and declined to testify.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, calling it "completely false." In a statement Monday, he said, “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes – to her or to anyone."
Earlier Tuesday, Trump defended Kavanaugh and said the FBI shouldn't investigate.
"We are looking to get this done as quickly as possible," Trump told reporters earlier in the day. "It’s a process. We all feel, speaking for all of the Republicans, we want to give everybody a chance to say what they have to say."
He added: “Judge Kavanaugh is anxious" to tell his side of the story.
As for a pre-hearing investigation, Trump said: "I don’t think the FBI should be involved because they don’t want to be involved."
The call for an FBI investigation was echoed by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, released a statement Tuesday saying the scheduled Monday hearing is part of a "rushed" process.
“We should honor Dr. Blasey Ford’s wishes and delay this hearing," Feinstein said. "A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to. Only then should the chairman set a hearing date."
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, joined Feinstein, saying on Twitter that Ford "should not be bullied" into taking part of a "biased" process.