The woman who has accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault all but ruled out appearing at an extraordinary Senate hearing scheduled for next week to hear her allegations, insisting on Tuesday that the F.B.I. investigate first.
Speaking through lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford said she would cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee and left open the possibility of testifying later about her allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”
This sets up a potential standoff as Republicans are anxious to get Kavanaugh confirmed before the election and an FBI investigation is going to take time. On the other hand, just holding the vote without a hearing or an investigation is likely to swing a few senators against Kavanaugh, sinking his nomination.
This is what the Republicans fear — anything that causes delay.
We should hear back from the Republicans today on what they intend to do. But only the White House can order an FBI investigation, which is what they did in the Anita Hill situation. So far, the White House has shown no inclination to do so.
We might be at a stalemate, but the ball is clearly in the court of the GOP.