Ford's Potential Testimony
Hey, everyone. I'm David Chaldean the CNN political director, and this is the daily DC. Thanks so much for listening today on the podcast. The cavenaugh Ford Republican democrat posturing around the possible testimony. Here's where we're at folks. We've got according to someone's body, my colleague up on Capitol Hill and clear for in their reporting at CNN dot com right now is that Christine Blasi Ford, the woman who is accusing breath, Cavanaugh of sexual assault back some thirty six years ago in Maryland has not closed the door entirely on testifying. This is a Cording to a congressional source with knowledge of the hearing negotiations. So here's what we're at the Lasi Ford team clearly still looking to gain any leverage. They can so that professor Ford does not walk into what she and her lawyers believe is a completely rigged setup where no investigation independent outside the Senate investigation took place to put any potential corroborating facts on the table for senators where there are no other witnesses who might be providing testimony where it is just going to be first up professor Ford, and then. Judge Cavanaugh to as we know he completely denies this happen to refute her story. Her recollection of this and no other. The Republicans are at as you know, Mitch, McConnell, Chuck Grassley. They've set a ten o'clock deadline, so it about the time I'm recording this. The clock is ticking all day Thursday awaiting final word from professor Ford and her legal team about whether or not they are going to accept Chuck Grassley invitation to testify on Monday. They are clearly pushing for more time as are many democratic senators. You've heard Senator Kirsten gillibrand of New York out there saying that this is a sham and that this is, you know, the Republicans look in a ram something through and that more time is needed. Democrats, almost universally are talking about the need for an investigation the need for more time. What that is doing in reality is just in the moment, allowing Ford is much time as possible to compile her approach to the hearing. So let's say tomorrow at ten o'clock or sometime. Before then for does meet the decision deadline that Chuck Grassley his set and says, she's going to be there Monday. She accepts the invitation, everything they're doing. Now, the Ford legal team here is about getting their ducks in a row. So while they are publicly saying, hey, we want an FBI investigation. I or pay we wanna make sure other witnesses are invited to provide testimony the way it wasn't nine hundred ninety one when it wasn't just Anita hill, but other witnesses were able to provide testimony. All of that is a public marker, but what it is really doing, I think is allowing them to buy some time here up until the deadline that Grassley has arbitrarily put on this and figure out if indeed professor for does decides. She wants to tell this story in her voice before the senators that she has a game plan of an approach of how she wants to do that. I think accepting the imitation probably for any. One, you could imagine no matter what you leave here or what your politics are. Nobody would obviously want to just sort of say, yeah, I'll be there Monday and not making sure that they are not walking into a complete circus setup in a way that benefits the senators, but does little for the the witness. You also have Mitch McConnell, expressing complete confidence that Cavanaugh is still going to be the next supreme court Justice on the court. When asked by CNN are Manu Raju said that McConnell said, oh yeah, when he was asked if he had confidence that he would be confirmed, you also have the number two in the Senate. John Cornyn who has been driving a lot of this train in terms of the public relations side for Republicans. He was making quite clear that it is still Monday or bust for professor Ford. We'll see if that line in the sand that Republicans have drawn holds quote according to maharaja. This. Cornyn said, quote, if she doesn't want to participate until her story, there's no reason for us to delay. I think it all depends on what she decides to do. We've all made this clear, this is her chance. But if she doesn't wanna do that, then we're going to have a markup meaning we're gonna vote in committee on the nomination and send it to the floor. This of course, comes after Republicans got Collins and flake and corker all the people that had expressed reservations. When professor Ford, I came out publicly with her claims in the Washington Post over the weekend that she needed to be heard. And let's slow down here for a moment and figure out a process. You hear that they are on board with the idea that this is a Monday or bust kind of situation. Again will see if that line in the sand that Republicans have drawn Holtz when asked about the issue of outside witnesses are Manu Raju is reporting that Cornyn said we already had a hearing. That's what I call hijacking. The regular. Mitty process to accommodate political interests. What we're interested in knowing for her is whether she had credible testimony that this event occurred as she said, it did if she doesn't show up, we don't have that information and we have to proceed without it. So obviously the way the world is on the shoulders of professor Ford. Now, somebody who has decided to take what must be an incredibly difficult leap to come out publicly as she did over the weekend and tell her story in the Washington Post, and now to even have to weigh the decision of doing this publicly on national television. You know, Anita hill is a name in history. You know if Christie Blasi Ford testifies on Monday before the Senate Judiciary committee, so too, will her name be in history books? And I think that you know she and her legal team are trying to learn from the lessons of nine hundred ninety one in a way to write those history books in a way that is more advantageous to her, giving voice to this experience of this. Alleged sexual assault rather than being upon in the Senate Judiciary committee majority's plan to get Cavanaugh on the court. That is the tension here, and that is why we're at this very public stalemate but make knowns about it while it seems to be public stalemate. There is a ton of work on both sides going on behind the scenes if indeed Monday is to happen. So while everyone waits for the next little less than a day now to see if indeed, if the invitation is accepted to see for public ins, move off the dime here in any way about the Monday or bust position or no additional witnesses. We've seen the public markers put down by the Blasi Ford camp. We've seen where Senate Republicans are. It seems that we cannot in this is really, I think the development of where we're at right now. We cannot rule out simply because of where we are in this public stalemate. That a hearing will actually take place next week where professor Ford gives her voice to her story and that is going to change the ballgame folks right now without testimony from Christine Blasi Ford breath Cavanaugh is on a glide path to confirmation the moment. If indeed she does accept the invitation that she steps into that committee room sits before those microphones. And under oath tells the committee and the country. Her story the game will be forever changed. It doesn't mean that cavenaugh won't be able to refute the allegations. That doesn't mean that a Republican vote will automatically slip away and the math changes for Cavanaugh, but it means uncertainty about that outcome is immediately injected into the environment. And when there's uncertainty with stakes, this high, you have to see. Where the dynamic ends up the perception of how each person performs on Monday will tell so much about where the committee ends up, especially the Republicans on the committee. And of course, in the broader Senate Collins Murkowski and up. This is a potential game changer in terms of the outcome of the vote. It is a certain game changer in terms of the dynamic that will exist, the political dynamic that will exist for when the vote takes place. One final note on where we are in case you think this is a slam dunk, no brainer for Democrats because of this environment that this is going to fire up their base as supreme court. Nominations, of course fire both bases, but that in this year of the woman that with the way we have seen women voters, especially on the democratic side, turning out in big numbers female candidates on the ballot, the metoo movement culturally overall that this is just having these allegations is going to be enough to sort of rally the country to the side. Side of Democrats that Cavanaugh shouldn't be on the court. I would just put this into evidence for you about why that may not be the case Claire mccaskill the democratic Senator from zuri the incumbent who is in a state that Donald Trump won by big double digits. This is not a battleground state if you will. This is a ruby red Trump state. One of the five states he won by double digits that have democratic incumbent up for re election this year mccaskey's in a dead heat race against the attorney general there, Missouri, Josh, Holly, and what a mccaskill do. Mccaskill put out a statement yesterday expressing the fact that she is going to vote against cavenaugh, she decided and she wanted to make her decision public. She's voting against Cavanaugh. Now there's been a lot of talk about, do red state Democrats feel the need because they're in these deep red states to vote for Cavanaugh, do not offend Republican voters in some way that they need to win over to their side. In the deepest of red states. There's a calculation to be made there for a Joe Manchin or a Heidi Heitkamp or Joe Donnelly. Those are the three who voted for Gorsuch the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch. We've been talking about them from the moment. This nomination Cavanaugh was announced that they are potential gets for McConnell though. I do think this current environment with Christine blassie Ford injected into this moment may scramble that calculation for them for those three senators. But Claire mccaskill who was pretty much likely going to be a no vote on cavenaugh for fear of depressing her base and in Missouri, the democratic base you know is real and active. You know whether it's young people or young single women in the democratic base African Americans in the democratic base in the cities of Saint Louis and Kansas City that make up so much of the democratic vote share anything to depress. Their enthusiasm would kill Claire, mccaskill, reelection effort. So she was probably never really a possible contender for a, yes vote on Kevin for that. That reason alone. The natural pieces of the democratic base don't exist quite the same way in places like West Virginia and North Dakota. So it's a bit of a different calculation. But what mccaskill do she put out her statement that it's a no vote based on campaign finance reform, having nothing to do with Christine blassie Ford's allegations entirely about Kavanagh's answers and history on campaign finance issues, and she got it out. She made it clear. She was voting against before a potential testimony day hearing with professor Ford. So while, yes, she didn't want to depress her base in any way by voting four cabin on. She also seems pretty keenly aware if you look at the timing of the statement that she did not want to be wrapped up into what could be a bit of a political, hot potato of how this potential hearing plays out. She wanted no part of her decision making to be wrapped into that. So she got her answer out publicly that she's a no vote on Cavanaugh a before that potentially takes place. If it does take place on Monday or another day next week, that was very telling to me that Claire mccaskill doesn't see the politics of this simply just the allegations out there and Christine Blasi Ford testifying. And again, I'm talking about the politics of this Claire mccaskill gave voice in her statement to the real seriousness of the allegations and the need for Blasi for to make that decision about to be heard publicly or not. But in the politics of this mccaskill clearly doesn't see it as just a slam dunk. If she were to wait for the hearing and make this about Blas Ford's allegations that that might cause her a political headache at home in some way. I thought that was a very, very telling sign in a dead heat race in a red state in the middle of the country where this issue may not be as clean cut as many democratic activists believe. It is in in safer blue territory that doesn't for this edition of the daily DC. Thank you so much for listening. 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