Yesterday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley renewed his requests that Christine Blasey Ford turn over copies of her therapist notes and any audio/video recordings of her polygraph exam along with any charts and data that were part of the exam. Grassley’s letter said in part:
Your continued withholding of material evidence despite multiple requests is unacceptable as the Senate exercises its constitutional responsibility of advise and consent for a judicial nomination. I urge you to comply promptly with my requests.
First, I renew my request for notes from the therapy sessions in which Dr. Ford discussed the alleged assault by Judge Kavanaugh…
Your previous response to this request—that “[t]hese records contain private, highly sensitive information that is not necessary for the Committee to assess the credibility of [Dr. Ford’s] testimony”—is not justified, based on the fact that the material has been presented as a key component supporting allegations made by your client, including the presentation made to The Washington Post…
The full details of Dr. Ford’s polygraph are particularly important because the Senate Judiciary Committee has received a sworn statement from a longtime boyfriend of Dr. Ford’s, stating that he personally witnessed Dr. Ford coaching a friend on polygraph examinations.
There’s more but that’s the gist. Today Dr. Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, released a brief letter in response. It’s actually just two sentences:
Regarding the documents you have requested in your letter of Oct. 2, 2018, Dr. Ford is prepared to provide those documents to the FBI when she is interviewed. We have not yet heard from the FBI about scheduling an interview with her.
Debra Katz already knows that the FBI doesn’t intend to interview Dr. Ford. Yesterday she released another statement about that. From CNBC:
The lawyers, Michael Bromwich and Debra Katz, in a letter to the FBI, said that since Friday they have offered the bureau’s agents a sit-down with Ford, identified witnesses and evidence and asked for the identity of the agent in charge of the probe.
“Despite these efforts, we have received no response from anyone involved in this investigation, and no response to our offer for Dr. Ford to be interviewed,” the lawyers wrote. “This afternoon, we learned of media reports that the FBI does not intend to interview either Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh.”
“We hope this reporting is inaccurate. It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you,” the letter said.
So today’s letter is meant as another attempt to control the process. It’s also meant to delay the process. We saw this last week when Ford’s lawyers claimed she needed more time because she wouldn’t be able to fly to the hearing. Senator Hatch wasn’t impressed:
Dr. Ford and her team have repeatedly cited her therapist notes and polygraph as evidence supporting her claims. Sharing them with the Washington Post but not with Senators is quite a double standard. https://t.co/tQNPe7lQPn
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) October 3, 2018
Fox News’ Brit Hume points out that it’s the Senate that is making the decision here, not the FBI.
Worth remembering that for all the talk of the FBI’s supplemental background check, the Constitution confers authority to advise and consent on the Senate and only the Senate. Refusal to provide info to the committee is striking. https://t.co/WyND3KcSHx
— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 3, 2018
There’s no reason Debra Katz had to wait until today to make this announcement. It’s another attempt to stall a vote. But we’ve already heard from Dr. Katz for a couple hours. What we haven’t seen is the documents supporting her claims. She should stop stalling and turn them over to the committee.