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SENATE STANDOFF ― BLASEY BLASTS ‘BULLYING’

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The legal team for Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her when they were teens, rejected a last-minute Friday deadline Republicans gave them to respond to a request for Blasey to testify next week. But about an hour later, Republicans extended the deadline a day.

In an email sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s staff near the time of the deadline, attorney Debra Katz criticized the panel’s Republicans for giving Blasey only until 10 p.m. EDT Friday to decide whether she would testify on Wednesday and without many of the conditions she had requested for the hearing.

Katz urged the committee to extend the response deadline by a day and criticized Republicans for rejecting several of the conditions Blasey had requested for the format of the hearing.

Responding to Katz’s email after the deadline Friday night, committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tweeted that he did grant an extension to Blasey’s team.

Grassley complained that he had already granted extensions “five times” since Blasey publicly identified herself Sunday as Kavanaugh’s accuser.”

Several minutes later, though, he added: “With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.” 

On Friday afternoon, Republicans on the committee had proposed that the hearing be held Wednesday and set the 10 p.m. deadline for Blasey to respond, giving her less than a day to decide.

Katz called the 10 p.m. deadline “arbitrary” and “aggressive” and accused the Republicans of bullying Blasey while she receives death threats.

The deadline’s “sole purpose is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family,” Katz wrote.

Grassley had threatened Blasey’s lawyers to hold the vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday if she did not respond by the deadline, according to The Associated Press.

Katz’s email was obtained by reporters from The Washington PostPolitico and journalist Yashar Ali.

Blasey’s attorneys, on a conference call with committee staff members Thursday night, had laid out conditions under which the professor, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, would be willing to testify.

They asked that Kavanaugh testify first and that senators preside over questioning instead of bringing in outside counsel. They also requested that the hearing take place next Thursday instead of Monday, which Grassley had suggested earlier in the week.

Blasey’s attorneys also asked if the committee could subpoena Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend who Blasey said was in the room during the alleged assault. Judge has denied witnessing the alleged assault and refused to testify before the committee.

The GOP counter-offer largely ignored these requests, instead proposing a Wednesday hearing in which Blasey would testify first. It also specified that lawyers for the committee ― rather than the senators themselves ― would oversee questioning and that no outside witnesses would be called.

“We want to hear Dr. Ford’s testimony and are prepared to accommodate many of your demands, including further delaying a hearing that is currently scheduled for Monday,” Grassley said in a statement. “We are unwilling to accommodate your unreasonable demands. Outside counsel may not dictate the terms under which committee business will be conducted.”

The negotiations came after Republicans on the committee rejected Blasey’s calls for an FBI investigation into her allegations before she would be called to testify.

Katz, in her response late Friday, harshly criticized the way the Republican committee members were treating Blasey.

The deadline and hearing negotiations had “created tremendous and unwarranted anxiety and stress on Dr. Ford,” Katz wrote. “Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate.”

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HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/christine-blasey-ford-deadline-wednesday-hearing_us_5ba56b83e4b0181540dcfdca

FEC Report Shows DNC Is Nearly Insolvent

The Democratic National Committee is nearly insolvent, according to the most recent FEC report.

As of August 31, the DNC had $7.89 million cash on hand, which is only slightly higher than its debt of $7.01 million.

If one adjusts for this debt, the DNC has a paltry $973,000 cash on hand, putting the Republican National Committee in a far greater position financially, with $41.75 million cash on hand, or 43 times as much money as its political counterpart.

On Thursday, Townhall reported that the RNC again broke fundraising records by bringing in $16.4 million in August, and more than $252 million this cycle.

"RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is well aware of the odds that face the party that holds the White House, so in January of 2017, she challenged her team and her party to put themselves in a position to defy them," an RNC official told Townhall. "As of today, they have met their $250B investment goal, put in place the largest data and field program in the party’s history and are ready to #DefyHistory on November 6th."

The RNC is even in a better financial position than it was at this same point in 2016.

"With less than 50 days until the midterm elections we have built the largest ground game ever,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who explained the fundraising records could be attributed, in part, to enthusiasm for President Trump and his agenda.

“Historically, the House is always in jeopardy in that first midterm of a sitting president,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel recently told Fox News’s Bill Hemmer. “So we haven't taken anything for granted, that's why the RNC has raised $250 million, that’s why we're in 28 states with over 20,000 field organizers. In Nevada alone we've made a million voter contacts, which is more than we did in 2016 because we have to keep the House if we're going to keep these gains for the American people: higher wages, jobs coming back. Our country is on the right track. We don't want to reverse course.”

TOWNHALL.COM

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2018/09/21/dnc-fec-report-n2521215

Accuser's schoolmate says she recalls hearing of alleged Kavanaugh incident

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A former schoolmate of Brett Kavanaugh's accuser wrote a Facebook post saying she recalls hearing about the alleged assault incident involving the future Supreme Court nominee, though she says she has no first-hand information to corroborate the accuser's claims.

"Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me," wrote the woman, Cristina Miranda King, who now works as a performing arts curator in Mexico City. "I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen."

She added, "Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details. However Christine's vivid recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true."

Ford, a research psychologist in Northern California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago at a drunken high school party. He denies the allegation.

The assertion that other people heard about and discussed an incident between Ford and Kavanaugh at the time it is alleged to have happened could loom as an important factor in any investigation of the claim.

Democrats are calling for the FBI to investigate, but the bureau cannot do so unless the White House asks it to. There is no allegation of a federal crime, so the bureau's role would be to examine the matter as part of its background check into the fitness and character of a Supreme Court nominee.

King has since taken down her Facebook post, which NBC News verified as having appeared on her account. She said on Twitter that she deleted it "because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews … Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading."

She later posted on Facebook: "To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus for me. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That's it. I don't have more to say on the subject. Please don't contact me further."

NBC News confirmed that the statements were hers, but did not confirm her allegation. King has also been critical of Trump administration policy on social media.

Ford's lawyer has said she wants the FBI to conduct an inquiry before she testifies in a public hearing. Republicans have scheduled a hearing for Monday at which they want to hear from her and Kavanaugh.

In her original post, King said she knew Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, the man Ford says was present during the alleged assault. Judge has said through his attorney he remembers no such incident.

King graduated in 1983 from Holton-Arms, the elite all-female private school that Ford also attended, according to an open letter King and many other alumnae signed in support of Ford.

King's post described a culture of heavy drinking among the students of the elite male and female private schools of Washington, D.C., including her own Holton-Arms and also Georgetown Preparatory School, which Judge and Kavanaugh attended.

Judge has written two memoirs acknowledging his heavy drinking during that period. In his 1997 memoir, "Wasted," Judge writes about a "Bart O'Kavanaugh," who passes out drunk and throws up in a car.

Holton-Arms did not return a call seeking verification of King's attendance. But a 1982 yearbook lists "Cristina King" as a student, and member of the Holton-Arms Athletic Association, an honor society. In her senior year, she led the school chorus as president, according to the 1983 yearbook. "Cristina King was able to keep the chorus members in tune as they trooped up to Hill and Lawrenceville to dazzle the boys with their talent and good looks," the club's yearbook page reads.

Ford appears in both yearbooks as well. She graduated in 1984.

King's LinkedIn page says she attended Brown University and worked for a decade in Washington, D.C. before moving to Mexico.

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AOL.COM

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/09/19/accusers-schoolmate-says-she-recalls-hearing-of-alleged-kavanaugh-incident/23532800/

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