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Published: Sunday, September 23, 2018 @ 3:19 AM
Even as lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford negotiated with the Senate Judiciary Committee over the terms of her possible testimony later this week, a series of possible corroborating witnesses did not back up Ford's allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh at a party in the 1980's, raising questions about her explosive claims which have delayed consideration of Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.
"Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others," said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. "Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.”
"These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Also raising questions about the lack of supporting evidence was Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who tweeted out the phrase "rope-a-dope" on Saturday - a boxing technique made famous by Muhammad Ali in the 1970's, designed as a way to tire out your opponent.
Despite all the reports about an agreement for testimony by Ford, nothing was certain, as the Senate Judiciary Committee was still planning to work with Ford's legal team on Sunday on the timing of her testimony.
It was possible that both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford would testify on Thursday, as Senate Democrats pressed for a further investigation into Ford's claim from the early 1980's.
"We must treat Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh seriously," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). "We should not rush this process and hurry to a vote."
As day broke on a chilly, wet morning on Capitol Hill on Sunday, there was still no concrete schedule in place, as GOP Senators were feeling pressure about their votes not only from Democrats, but also from conservative Republican activists.
But Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also made it clear he wants to hear more about the situation.
"Progress on a Judiciary Committee hearing is being made," Flake tweeted on Saturday. "This is good."
Republicans had originally planned for a Monday vote on Kavanaugh in the Judiciary Committee - that notice was still up on the committee's website Sunday morning - as another day of political maneuvering seemed at hand.