Kavanaugh’s wife gets to bring cupcakes out to the press outside of their house.— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) September 18, 2018
His accuser has to go into hiding.
Great society we’ve got going here.
Christine Blasey Ford was thrust into political spotlight after she identified herself as the woman who accused President Donald Trump’s SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, while they were both teenagers.
Ford, who is a professor by profession, did not choose this.
She had previously written a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and wished to remain anonymous. However, when the details of her letter leaked, she came forward to explain her ordeal in her own words.
As is the case with most sexual assault accusers, even in the #MeToo era, she is now a target of vile abuse that is far more trying for her than it is for the alleged attacker.
The constant barraging of reporters has stripped Ford of all privacy. She has received death threats that have forced her to relocate as she looks to protect her family.
A letter from Ford’s lawyers to the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley detailed the backlash received by the Palo Alto professor after she accused Kavanaugh of trying to get his way with her at a party, back in the 1980s.
“In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online,” the letter read.
Ford also insisted through the letter, that before she is made to recount the “traumatic and harrowing incident,” an FBI investigation into her allegations should be the “first step.”
Republicans, who reluctantly accepted to stall Kavanaugh’s vote until both Ford and the SCOTUS nominee testified in public, have vehemently denied the request, deeming the investigation irrelevant to Ford’s testimony.
Grassley gave Ford the chance to testify publicly or privately but has maintained that if she failed to show up for the hearing on Monday, the vote on Kavanaugh would go on regardless.
"Immediately after learning of Dr. Ford's identity from news reports Sunday, committee staff started working to gather facts related to her claims. We've offered Dr. Ford the opportunity to share her story with the committee, as her attorney said yesterday she was willing to do. We offered her a public or a private hearing as well as staff-led interviews, whichever makes her most comfortable. The invitation for Monday still stands,” he said in a statement.
"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."
The first indication that Ford is thinking of opting out of the testimony came when Ford’s attorney, Lisa Banks, made an appearance on CNN.
According to Banks, the case is being “rushed” and her client has not been given enough time to prepare for a public hearing.
"There's no reason that we should have a public hearing on Monday ... this is being rushed through, and it's too important to be rushed through. It's not a game, this is a serious situation." Lisa Banks, attorney for Christine Blasey Ford https://t.co/un750fFvzN pic.twitter.com/zkeykaBqJI— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 19, 2018
In the letter to the Judiciary Committee, Ford’s lawyers asserted Republican lawmakers have already made up their minds about the accusations against Kavanaugh.
Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, told reporters he thought Ford has “mistaken something” or “mixed up” Kavanaugh for someone else, according to The New York Times. The stance would make for a clever response — to defend Kavanaugh without discrediting Ford’s allegations — if it wasn’t so insulting.
To assume a woman would forget someone who allegedly tried to pin her down, take her clothes off and put his hand on her mouth to drown out her protests because a lot of time has passed since the alleged assault is absurd.
Such statements and death threats against Ford only highlight how difficult it is still for accusers to come forward, even as the world witnessed the downfall of powerful predators like Harvey Weinstein, thanks to the #MeToo movement.
Democrats, on the other hand, have shown their support to Ford.
I support Dr. Blasey Ford’s request for an FBI background investigation before a hearing. She should not be bullied into participating in a biased process and we should not rush forward before facts are gathered.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 19, 2018
“I agree with her 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill,” Feinstein said in the statement. “I also agree that we need the facts before senators — not staff or lawyers — speak to witnesses. We should honor Dr. Blasey Ford’s wishes and delay this hearing.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie