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September 19 2018

Law Professor: Ford Not Entitled to Set Conditions for Senate Testimony

by Charlotte Hays

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both  in high school, is attempting to set strict conditions for speaking of her allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dr. Ford reportedly says that she will not set foot in the Senate Committee room until after the FBI has conducted an investigation of her allegations, a demand Democrats were quick to adopt.

However,George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley explains that Dr. Ford simply is not entitled to set up such conditions:

Ford’s demand is, to put it simply, out of line, both with her prior statements and with congressional precedent. It is not that the FBI has not investigated such allegations; it did so with Clarence Thomas. However, there is no precedent for a quid pro quo demand for testimony by a witness.

Individuals can certainly refuse to testify, yet conditioning testimony on a criminal investigation by a federal agency is well beyond the province of any witness.

There may indeed be a basis for reopening the FBI background investigation, but the priority is to get both the testimony of Ford and Kavanaugh under oath.   

. . .

She added that she has no intention of appearing for an “interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is 'mistaken' and 'mixed up.' ” However, it could hardly be a surprise to Ford that Republican senators would be skeptical or hostile to her claim.  

Indeed, we do not know a great deal about Ford’s allegations because we have not heard from Ford. A Senate confirmation vote was correctly delayed to do precisely that. Ford has every right to expect to be heard on these very serious allegations.

She does not have the right to set conditions before testifying under oath.

Dr. Blasey Ford has made a shocking accusation and the public has every right to expect to hear more.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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