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  • After days of behind the scenes wrangling, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Sunday afternoon that the panel will hold a hearing on Thursday to take public testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party in the early 1980’s. The panel had originally set a Monday morning vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, but after a weekend of talks – which still hasn’t resolved all the details for the hearing – committee Republicans agreed to allow Ford to present her case in a public hearing, posting a new hearing notice on the committee’s website. “Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s legal team told reporters in a statement, adding that a ‘number of important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved.’ Ford’s lawyers said the committee had rejected a request to invite other witnesses, specifically naming Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh; Ford says Judge was a direct witness to her assault. The current committee plan is for only two witnesses – one would be Ford, to be followed then by Judge Kavanaugh, who has sternly denied any wrongdoing involving Ford. GOP Senators and the White House said Ford has offered no corroborating evidence to back up her allegations. “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). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 The Thursday hearing would be a high stakes political event, drawing immediate comparisons to the extra hearings held for the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, when he defended himself against public accusations of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill. Unlike that hearing in October of 1991, neither Kavanaugh nor Ford is currently expected to have testimony from additional witnesses.
  • 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). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 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. Your sources are not accurate. I will not be voting 'present' https://t.co/EqMGetXmRT — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 23, 2018 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.
  • Tulsa officers are looking for three men who robbed a band on tour early Sunday morning. The armed robbery happened around 3:47 a.m. outside the Plaza Santa Cecilia near 21st and Garnett. An officer at the scene reports the band were inside their bus with the door open at the time. “The three unknown suspects entered the bus,” the officer said.  “The suspects pointed guns at the victims and demanded money. The suspects took the band's money, ID's and personal property.  No word on if the suspects left the scene on foot or by vehicle.   Police describe the suspects as “a black male 22-25 years of age, a light skinned black male 22-25 years of age and a white or Hispanic male 22-25 years of age.”  All three suspects were armed with black handguns.   Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.
  • The high for today in Tulsa will be close to 79 degrees. We asked National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Plate what the normal high and low is for this time of year? “The normal high is around 81 degrees,” Plate said.  “While the low is around 59.” The low Sunday night will be near 63 degrees. You can put the umbrella away for a couple of days.  NWS reports our next chance for rain will be Tuesday Night.  
  • After posting a schedule for a Monday morning vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, unable to work out an agreement for testimony from a woman who accused the judge of sexual misconduct back when they were teenagers, Republicans gave extra time to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to consider testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) tweeted late Friday night from his home state of Iowa, as he tried to both press ahead with a vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, and hold open the possibility of testimony from Ford. The late night change of heart created an odd mixture of reaction, as even after Grassley said he was giving more time to Ford’s legal team, Democrats were still churning out news releases after midnight criticizing Republicans for their treatment of the allegations against Kavanaugh. “By blocking both an FBI investigation and a hearing where all three witnesses present during the assault could answer questions under oath, the Senate will fail in its duty to the American people,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 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 — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 As the sun rose on Saturday morning, it still wasn’t clear whether Ford would testify. “Dr. Blasey Ford has been clear in her desire to testify following an independent, thorough investigation by the FBI,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). But Republicans were still suspicious of the allegations brought by Ford, who says she was sexually attacked by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the 1980’s. “Their decision to reveal this allegation at the most politically damaging moment reeks of opportunism,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Under the timeline originally unveiled by the Judiciary Committee on Friday night, Republicans scheduled a vote for Monday morning on a list of judges, with one prominent name at the top of the list: “Brett M. Kavanaugh, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” it read. The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we’ve seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors. — Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 22, 2018 Ford’s lawyers wanted her to testify next Thursday – Grassley and Republicans were offering Wednesday. There was also talk of Ford talking directly to investigators in California, instead of traveling to Washington, D.C.