On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) corrected Christine Blasey Ford, who testified that it would be “unrealistic” for the committee to visit her in California to hear her accusations of sexual abuse against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford told the hearing that, due to her reluctance to fly, she had hoped the committee would come to her:
“I was hoping that they come to me. But, then, I realized that that was an unrealistic request.”
“So, that was certainly what I was hoping – was to avoid having to get on an airplane – but, I eventually was able to get up the gumption, with the help of some friends, and get on the plane.”
Admitting to the number of airplane trips she has made for her hobbies and work, Ford concluded:
“Easier for me to travel going that direction, when it’s for a vacation.”
Chairman Grassley spoke up to set the record straight about Ford’s claim the committee couldn’t come to her:
“Dr. Ford, I want to correct the record, but it’s not something that I’m saying that you stated wrongly, because you may not know the fact that, when you said that you did not think that it was possible for us to go to California as a committee, or investigators to go to California to talk to you – we did, in fact, offer that to you. And, we had the capability of doing it, and we would have done it, anywhere or any time.”
On Sept. 21, the Judiciary Committee published the text of a proposal sent to Ford’s lawyers offering to fly committee members to California to speak with Ford:
“The Chairman has offered the ability for Dr. Ford to testify in an open session, a closed session, a public staff interview, and a private staff interview. The Chairman is even willing to fly female staff investigators to meet Dr. Ford and you in California, or anywhere else, to obtain Dr. Ford’s testimony.”
In the hearing, when Ford was asked if anyone, including her lawyers, had relayed to her the committee’s offer to visit her in California, Ford refused to answer when her lawyer objected:
Question: “Okay. Was it communicated to you by your counsel or someone else that the committee had asked to interview you, and that they offered to come out to California to do so?”
Counsel: “I'm going to object, Mr. Chairman, to any call for privileged conversation between counsel and Dr. Ford.”
Question: “Could you validate that the offer was made, without her saying a word? Is it possible for that question to be answered without violating any counsel relationships?
Ford: “Can I say something to you? Do you mind if I say something to you directly? I just appreciate that you did offer that. I wasn't clear on what the offer was. If you were going to come out to see me, I would have happily hosted you and been happy to speak with you out there. I just did not -- it was not clear to me that that was the case.”