Christine Blasey Ford: Kavanaugh accuser 'faces death threats'

Christine Blasey Ford and Brett KavanaughImage copyright Getty

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Christine Blasey Ford says Brett Kavanaugh attacked her when he was a teenager

The woman who accuses US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her will not testify to the Senate next week, says her lawyer.

Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney told CNN her client has been “deflecting death threats and harassment”.

Lawyer Lisa Banks said before her client goes to Congress, she wants an FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh.

The nominee, who denies the claim, has met officials at the White House for a second day.

Prof Ford, a psychology lecturer in California, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to remove her clothing in 1982 when they were both teenagers in a Washington DC suburb.

Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has called the allegation “completely false.”

Mr Trump, who reportedly did not meet Mr Kavanaugh on Tuesday, expressed sympathy for his nominee.

“I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you,” the Republican president told a news conference. “This is not a man that deserves this.”

He added: “Hopefully the woman will come forward, state her case. He will state his case before representatives of the United States Senate. And then they will vote.”

Prof Ford’s legal team say they have written to Senate Judiciary Committee declining its offer to testify.

Her lawyer told CNN on Tuesday night: “It’s premature to talk about a hearing on Monday because she [Prof Ford] has been dealing with the threats, the harassment and the safety of her family and that’s what she’s been focused on for the last couple of days.”

She said that since going public with her allegation in the Washington Post on Sunday, Prof Ford has been trying to work out where her family are going to sleep at night.

The legal team’s letter says that Prof Ford’s family has been forced to move out of their home, her email has been hacked and she has been impersonated online.

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The correspondence says “a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions”.

The development comes a day after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley announced plans for the hearing.

But Democrats, already staunchly opposed to President Trump’s nominee, wrote their own letter to Mr Grassley objecting to the format of having Judge Kavanaugh and Prof Ford as the only witnesses.

Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, urged Republicans not to “rush the hearings”.

The ugly confirmation battle could shake up the forthcoming mid-term elections.

Democrats are hoping to wrest control of Congress from Trump’s fellow Republicans during the 6 November mid-term elections, dealing a serious blow to the president’s agenda.

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