Kavanaugh accuser’s attorney says GOP staff blew off scheduled call
(CNN) — John Clune, the attorney for the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her when they were in college, said only Democrats showed up for a phone call they had scheduled with Senate Judiciary Committee staff earlier Tuesday
Clune also said in an interview Tuesday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that Republicans seem to be “game-playing” and changing the rules for their communications.
Clune represents Deborah Ramirez, 53, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh and told Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
Clune told Anderson Cooper that his team has had a number of email communications with the committee, “but the difficulty is every time we try to set up a phone call, the majority party either changes the rules of the phone call or they want additional information as a condition of even having a phone call with us.”
“We finally had a phone call scheduled for 7 o’clock Eastern this evening, we got on the phone, and only the minority party showed,” Clune said. “So, feels like there’s a lot of game-playing that’s going on right now by the majority party.”
Clune, who is calling for an FBI investigation, said, “We just want to be able to talk to them and find out what is it they’re contemplating about how this would be investigated or how Debbie could provide her information to the Senate.”
Grassley’s office did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment on Clune’s statements Tuesday evening.
Clune said that they previously had another phone call scheduled that was canceled because “they sent us an email saying for a condition for us to even have the phone call, you need to give us a list of all the evidence that you have and break it down for us before we’ll even talk to you by the phone.”
Clune said he responded expressing concern and wanted to protect his client, and added he wanted to make sure whatever process the committee was going to use was fair to Ramirez, “and then they don’t have the phone call with us,” he said.
CNN has obtained emails between Senate Judiciary staff — Democrats and Republicans — and Ramirez’s attorneys. In the emails, a Republican staffer says this is his “6th request from Ms. Ramirez … over the past ‘8 hours.'” The staffer also asks if Ramirez is willing to provide information, including testimony, to committee investigators.
In the emails, Democratic staff propose a time to talk with Ramirez’s counsel and say Grassley’s team is invited to join. In an email, a Democratic staffer says, “The Committee does not usually refuse to talk with counsel (or whistleblowers), and also does not usually place preconditions on getting on the phone to discuss next steps, so I’m not sure why that is happening here.”
Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both in high school, is set to appear before the committee Thursday. Kavanaugh denies that allegation as well, and will also testify.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told CNN earlier Tuesday that he is “unclear” why Ramirez’s accusations should have “any bearing” on Ford’s testimony Thursday, and criticized Democrats for not letting Republicans know about Ramirez’s accusation earlier.
Grassley said the committee can decide how to proceed if Ramirez submits testimony and evidence to the panel, “which Committee investigators have requested.”
Clune said, “I don’t know what else we can do if they’re not going to engage, but blaming us for being non cooperative is just, you know, flat out not consistent with how things have gone and what the emails show.”