Frustrated Grassley Gives in to Ford, Delays Kavanaugh Vote

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa was clearly frustrated Friday night when he gave in one more time to Dr. Christine Ford.

During the day Friday Grassley told Ford that she had a deadline of 10 p.m. to make up her mind whether or not to testify in front of his committee about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

When it became apparent Friday night that she would miss Grassley’s artificial deadline, he tweeted:

Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate  She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive.”

The tweet was unusual in that he seemed to address it directly to Kavanaugh himself.

The Washington Post contacted an aide to Senator Grassley who confirmed that he was granting her request for more time.

But he wasn’t happy about what was happening, as shown by a second tweet he posted complaining that Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was more in charge of the process than he was:

With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.”

As of late Friday night, Ford’s attorneys and the Judiciary Committee staff were still negotiating the terms and conditions of her testimony.

Before Grassley posted his tweets, one of the attorneys for Ford complained about Grassley’s arbitrary deadlines and ultimatums. She said that Ford was experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety because the Republican senator and his committee would not agree to let her testify later next week under the conditions that she had requested. On top of that, Ford met with the FBI on Friday to discuss the many death threats she had received since coming forward with her allegations against the Supreme Court nominee.

“Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate,” attorney Debra Katz wrote in an email to Grassley.

Despite his frustration with Ford and her attorneys, Grassley did give in one more time. This was probably because he realized he and his fellow GOP committee members looked bad and were losing the public relations battle.

By the end of the week Ford was being harshly attacked by Republicans and by their right-wing supporters. But the majority of the voting public — especially women who could be crucial swing votes in November’s elections — were on Ford’s side and thought she should be allowed to testify.

Grassley had previously said that the committee vote on Kavanaugh would be held on Monday.