After a week of negotiations with the Senate Judiciary Committee over the terms of her testimony, Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify on Thursday regarding her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh sexually assaulted her decades earlier when they were in high school.
Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the allegations.
The open hearing will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Sept. 27. Ahead of the hearing, both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh sent letters to the committee.
Here is the full transcript of their letters:
Christine Blasey Ford — sent Sept. 22, 2018
Dear Senator Grassley:
There has been a lot of back and forth between your staff and my counsel, and I appreciate the chance to communicate with you directly. I kindly ask you to use your best discretion regarding this personal letter.
When I first learned that Brett Kavanaugh was on the short-list of nominees to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, prior to the President’s selection among a list of what seemed to me as similarly-qualified candidates, I contacted my Congressperson’s office in an attempt to provide information that could be useful to you and the President when making the selection from among a list of candidates. The decision to first report the assault to my Congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, was a very difficult one, but I felt that this was something that a citizen couldn’t NOT do.
I felt agony yet urgency and a civic duty to let it be known, in a confidential manner, prior to the nominee being selected. While it was difficult, I was able to share my information with two contacts during the period between the short list announcement and Mr. Kavanaugh’s selection.
Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life. I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates. My original intent was first and foremost to be a helpful citizen – in a confidential way that would minimize collateral damage to all families and friends involved.
I then took the step of sending a confidential letter to one of my Senators, Ranking Member Feinstein, and I understand that you have a copy of that letter. I am certainly prepared to repeat the facts in the letter and to provide further facts under oath at a hearing. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and other Senators directly, person to person, to tell you what occurred. I will answer any questions you have. I hope that we can find such a setting and that you will understand that I have one motivation in coming forward – to tell the truth about what Mr. Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge did to me. My sincere desire is to be helpful to persons making the decision.
In addition to talking with you and other Senators directly, I have asked my lawyers to continue discussions with your staff about the conditions you have proposed. As I am not a lawyer or a Senator, I am relying on them and you to ensure that the Committee will agree to conditions that will allow me to testify in a fair setting that won’t disrupt families and become a media TV show. While the nationwide outpouring of love has been heartwarming, I am spending considerable time managing death threats, avoiding people following me on freeways, and disconcerting media intrusion, including swarms of vans at my home and unauthorized persons entering my classroom and medical settings where I work. I have received an inordinate number of requests to appear on major TV shows to elucidate further information, to which I have not responded. My goal is to return soon to my workplace, once it is deemed safe for me and importantly, for students. Currently, my family has physically relocated and have divided up separately on many nights with the tremendous help of friends in the broader community. Through gracious persons here and across the country, we have been able to afford hiring security. While I am frightened, please know, my fear will not hold me back from testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions. I ask for fair and respectful treatment.
Brett Kavanaugh — sent Sept. 24, 2018
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
When I testified in front of the Senate three weeks ago, I explained my belief that fair process is foundational to justice and to our democracy.
At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered questions under oath. I then answered more questions at a confidential session. The following week, I responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.
Only after that exhaustive process was complete did I learn, through the news media, about a 36- year-old allegation from high school that had been asserted months earlier and withheld from me throughout the hearing process. First it was an anonymous allegation that I categorically and unequivocally denied. Soon after the accuser was identified, I repeated my denial on the record and made clear that I wished to appear before the Committee. I then repeated my denial to Committee investigators—under criminal penalties for false statements. All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening. I asked to testify before the Committee again under oath as soon as possible, so that both Dr. Ford and I could both be heard. I thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling that hearing for Thursday.
Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened. There is now a frenzy to come up with something—anything—that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring.
These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.
As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last minute character assassination will not succeed.
I have devoted my career to serving the public and the cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and dignity of women. Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.