Published 8:20 PM EDT Sep 20, 2018
WASHINGTON - Brett Kavanaugh says he is eager to testify before Congress and defend himself against the sexual assault allegations that have slowed his bid for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, accepting an invitation to appear Monday before the committee, adding he wants a hearing "as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name."
"Since the moment I first heard this allegation, I have categorically and unequivocally denied it," he wrote in the letter. "I remain committed to defending my integrity."
The already contentious confirmation hearings were thrown upside down after allegations surfaced that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were teenagers. The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, has also been asked to testify before the committee about her allegations that Kavanaugh pinned her down at a party in 1982, groped her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream.
Ford indicated in an email sent by her attorney that she would be willing to testify but would not be ready on Monday.
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In the email sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by USA TODAY, Ford's lawyer says her client "would be prepared to testify next week," as long as conditions are determined that are "fair and which ensure her safety."
Ford's attorney asked for a phone call Thursday to discuss the terms of her client's testimony but added Ford had a "strong preference" that "a full investigation" happen before testifying. Her attorney also said Ford's safety is a high priority and a hearing on Monday "is not possible," adding the committee's "insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event."
"As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home," the email states.
Contributing: William Cummings