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Kavanaugh accuser Ford agrees to testify

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Christine Blasey Ford's deadline to respond to whether she will testify about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh has been extended. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Sommer Brokaw, UPI

Christine Blasey Ford agreed to testify about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shortly before a 2:30 p.m. Saturday deadline.

Attorneys for Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her at a party in Maryland 36 years ago, wrote in an email Saturday afternoon she "accepts the committee's request to provide her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week."

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Senate judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had extended the deadline late Friday night for Ford and later specified the 2:30 p.m. deadline.

"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," Grassley tweeted late Friday night after Ford's lawyers requested a 24-hour extension for her to make a decision on the hearing considering that she had been receiving death threats. "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 2:30 p.m. deadline Saturday fell short of the 24-hour extension Ford's lawyers previously requested in response to an earlier 10 p.m. Friday deadline, CNN reported. The committee's deadline was previously extended from 5 p.m. Friday.

Without a decision, the committee had said it would go forward with a vote for Kavanaugh on Monday.

"It's clear that Republicans have learned nothing over the last 27 years," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement, referring the 1991 hearing on Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. "Bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee - particularly at a time when she's receiving death threats - is an extreme abuse of power. I'm shocked and appalled by the Republicans' refusal to wait 24 hours for a hearing and instead rush forward with a vote on Monday. From the outset Republicans have tried to push through this nomination at all costs."

Ford's attorney, Debra Katz, said Friday that her client was willing to testify, but needed at least until Thursday to "settle things with her family," travel and prepare to testify after receiving death threats, and Grassley responded that she must testify by Wednesday.

Several other conditions that Katz had set for her client to testify have also remained unresolved such as whether Mark Judge, who Ford alleges was a witness, will be subpoenaed to testify.

"We are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process, we are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details," Katz and another of Ford's attorneys, Lisa Banks, wrote in Saturday afternoon's email, where they also requested to set a time "to continue our negotiations."

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