That left it up to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to decide whether to grant the extra time or move ahead with a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination scheduled for Monday.
In a letter to the committee Saturday afternoon, lawyers for the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, said they were hopeful an agreement could be reached on the details and asked to schedule further talks for Saturday afternoon. Blasey’s representatives separately said that she wanted to appear before the committee Thursday, though that detail had not been finalized; Republicans want her to appear Wednesday.
“Dr. Ford accepts the committee’s request to provide her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week,” they wrote. The lawyers called details of Grassley’s proposal “fundamentally inconsistent with the committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations” but said they hoped to reach an agreement anyway.
Grassley’s spokesman had no immediate comment on the Blasey letter, but a White House official and Republican officials on Capitol Hill suggested that her seeming acceptance was no acceptance at all, calling it a ploy to delay the Monday vote.
“Worth noting that this is exactly where we were on Monday morning — without agreeing to a date, time, and terms we are no closer to hearing from Dr Ford,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a senior member of the committee, wrote on Twitter.
The White House vented similar frustrations and reiterated Kavanaugh’s desire to testify. Kerri Kupec, a White House spokeswoman, said that after days of negotiations, “we appear no closer to a fair hearing.”
Testimony by Blasey could greatly complicate matters for Kavanaugh, who has vigorously denied Blasey’s allegations and just last week seemed destined for confirmation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he has enough votes to confirm Kavanaugh, but with at least two Republicans in the Senate undecided and with the party holding only a 51-49 majority, it is hardly assured.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.