A lawyer for the woman who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s said Monday that her client believes his actions were "attempted rape" and she's willing to testify publicly about it.
"She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped," attorney Debra Katz said on "Today."
Katz added that her client, Christine Blasey Ford, is "willing to do whatever it takes," including testifying before members of Congress about her allegations and that her coming forward is "not a politically motivated action."
As Kavanaugh left his house Monday morning, reporters shouted questions about whether he had a response to Ford or if he would testify again. He did not respond.
The White House later released an updated statement from the nominee stating his willingness to testify publicly in response to the claim. “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone," Kavanaugh said. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.
"I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
Katz, a Washington lawyer known for her work on sexual harassment cases, is representing Ford after the woman identified herself in a report published Sunday in The Washington Post.
In it, Ford said Kavanaugh and she were high school students in suburban Maryland in the 1980s. One summer, she alleges, Kavanaugh and a friend were "stumbling drunk" during a house party in Montgomery County when they got her into a bedroom.
Ford claimed that as the friend watched, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her and tried to pull off her clothing. He put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, she said.
Ford told The Post she was able to escape when the friend jumped on top of them.
Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing began earlier this month. The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote last week on whether to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination, but that was delayed until Thursday.
Republicans said they still want to vote. But leading Democrats have called for an investigation and a further delay.
"I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation," Feinstein wrote Sunday. "This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee."
In a letter Monday morning to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, all 10 Democrats on the panel requested that he postpone Thursday’s scheduled committee on Kavanaugh’s nomination in light of the new allegations.
“All Senators, regardless of party, should insist the FBI perform its due diligence and fully investigate the allegations as part of its review of Judge Kavanaugh’s background,” they wrote. “Staff-level examination of these allegations should not go forward until the FBI’s career professionals with the requisite investigative expertise have completed their review. Once the FBI has completed its independent work, we hope that we can work together in a bipartisan manner to decide on next steps.”
Ford, 51, now a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University in Northern California, said she came public now after being bombarded by reporters.
She first brought the allegation to The Post through a tip line in early July, the newspaper said, when Kavanaugh was on a short list for the Supreme Court.
The woman then contacted her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., whose office later sent a confidential letter to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
NBC News has not spoken to Ford directly and has not seen her letter.
Kavanaugh denounced the allegation against him last week and in a statement re-sent by the White House to NBC News on Monday. "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation," he said. "I did not do this back in high school or at any time."
Katz's attorney said Monday that her client has been threatened since coming forward and doesn't agree with critics who say she's politically motivated. The Post noted that Ford is a registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations.
"I would say no one in their right mind would want to inject themselves in this process and face the kind of annihilation that she will be subjected to by those that want this nominee to go through," Katz said.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Ford should testify if she’s willing.
"This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted," Conway said on Fox News. "She should be heard."
She added: "I've spoken with the president. I've spoken with Sen. Graham and others. This woman will be heard."