Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused federal judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, will not testify publicly about the alleged incident unless a "full investigation by law enforcement officials" is completed beforehand, according to her attorneys.
Ford's legal team sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that letter was obtained by CNN.
"...a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions," the letter read.
This situation has developed quickly since Friday. As of Monday night, it appeared Ford was willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday, along with Kavanaugh. By Tuesday morning, however, that appearance was in doubt as Grassley said they had not been able to get in touch with Ford.
Now, echoing calls from Democrats for an FBI investigation, Ford and her lawyers are pumping the brakes on any potential hearing next week.
"Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process," Ford attorney Lisa Banks said to CNN's Anderson Cooper. "If they care about doing the right thing here and treating this seriously as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this, and she will work with them in that investigation and also to share her story with the committee."
Sen. Grassley is not budging
Despite this new demand from Ford's side, Grassley believes that the Monday hearing should go on as originally planned, and that there is no need for an FBI investigation.
"Dr. Ford's testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events," Grassley said. "Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay."
Grassley made it clear that his invitation for Ford to testify Monday "still stands."
According to the Justice Department, Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh don't involve a potential federal crime, and The Hill reported that no investigation has been opened.
"The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation," a DOJ statement read. "The purpose of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States. ... The FBI's role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers."