Sex assault claim against top court pick should be heard: Trump aide

Christine Blasey Ford “should be heard,” Conway said. (AFP)
Updated 17 September 2018

Sex assault claim against top court pick should be heard: Trump aide

  • “This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” said Conway
  • Ford told the Post that Kavanaugh “was trying to attack me and remove my clothing” at a teenagers’ party one summer in the early 1980s

WASHINGTON: The woman accusing US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick of sexual assault should be allowed to testify before a Senate committee, Trump’s top female aide said on Monday.
Kellyanne Conway’s comment came as the lawyer for the accuser, college professor Christine Blasey Ford, said Ford is willing to testify publicly about the decades-old incident which she already described to The Washington Post.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is due to vote on the nomination of conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh on September 20, but in light of Ford’s comments a number of committee members have urged holding off on a vote.
“She should be heard,” Conway said on “Fox and Friends.
“This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” said Conway, who added that Kavanaugh should also have an opportunity under oath to address Ford’s allegations.
He is “a man of character and integrity” who has been widely lauded by other women, she said.
The testimonies “would be added to the very considerable mountain of evidence and considerations that folks will have when they weigh whether or not to vote for Judge Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court.”
But Conway said such testimony “should not unduly delay the vote.”
Asked on CNN whether Ford would be willing to testify publicly before the Judiciary Committee, her lawyer Debra Katz said: “The answer’s yes.”
Lawmakers have not, however, made any such request for her testimony, the lawyer said.
After initially guarding her anonymity, Ford “decided to take control of this and tell this in her own voice” after the allegations were leaked, Katz said.
Ford told the Post that Kavanaugh “was trying to attack me and remove my clothing” at a teenagers’ party one summer in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegation, saying he did not do this “at any time.”


Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

Updated 7 min 8 sec ago

Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

  • Ex-president says Taliban offer to reduce violence a ‘major development’

KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged President Ashraf Ghani to drop the pre-condition of cease-fire to begin talks with the Taliban amid high hope that the US and Taliban delegates will sign a deal following more than a year of secret discussions.

Speaking in an interview with BBC local service, Karzai said the government “should not block intra-Afghan dialogue under the pretext of cease-fire.” He said the Taliban offer for reduction in violence as the group says is nearing to ink the deal with American diplomats in Qatar, was a “major development.”

He said Ghani needed to accept the Taliban offer.

Ghani says truce is a must ahead of starting any negotiations with the Taliban calling reduction in violence a general term and arguing that such a call by the Taliban political leaders in Qatar only goes to show that they have control over field commanders back in Afghanistan.

The Taliban say the group will announce truce when the intra-Afghan dialogue begins which will happen after Washington sets timetable for withdrawal of the troops.

Washington at least on one occasion called off the talks with the Taliban in Qatar due to Taliban attacks back in Afghanistan as discussions continued in Qatar despite none of the warring sides having committed to halt offensives during the talks.

Ghani’s government has been sidelined from all rounds of talks between the Taliban delegates and US diplomats led by Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar. There has also been rift between Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with the president in the National Unity Government, on the pre-condition of cease-fire.

Unlike Ghani, Abdullah is happy with reduction of violence. Talking in a meeting of council of ministers, Abdullah on Monday indirectly said Ghani had taken the peace process in his monopoly.

 “Peace is not one person’s monopoly, one person’s wish — but it is a collective desire, and the people of Afghanistan have the right to take a position regarding the peace process,” said Abdullah.