WASHINGTON, U.S. - It has been less than a week since 51-year-old research psychologist from northern California, Christine Blasey Ford publicly identified herself as the woman who levelled accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, the man who is fighting hard to win a lifetime appointment as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their teenage years and spoke about the allegations publicly for the first time on Sunday in an interview with The Washington Post.
Since then, her accusations have been closely scrutinized and have jeopardized the confirmation process of Trump's nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Now, amid calls for Ford to testify, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, has said that she is willing to testify next week.
However, Ford has signalled that she would not testify on Monday as Republicans have demanded.
A report in the Guardian, which was first quoted by the New York Times said that Ford had written an email to the Senate judiciary committee, which quoted her lawyers as saying that Ford “wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety."
The email, a copy of which the Guardian said it had seen, reportedly said that a Monday hearing is “not possible and the committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event.”
The report further noted that Ford's lawyers stressed that she is willing to cooperate but would prefer that the committee “allow for a full investigation prior to her testimony."
After Ford's identify as the woman who accused the Supreme Court nominee was made public, an uncertainty regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination took hold.
The revelations that followed further locked the committee in a stalemate over the need to hold a high stakes public hearing with the accuser and the accused.
Now, Ford's statement comes after the Senate has faced demonstrations outside its office building of people protesting against Republicans’ handling of the situation.
Separately, the office of the judiciary committee chairman, Chuck Grassley, saw over 100 people marching with raised fists, holding a sit-in over the issue.
Subsequently, Grassley announced that he is planning a hearing on Monday and said that both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford have been invited to the hearing.
However, Democrats have stood by Ford's demand that the FBI first investigate her account before a hearing is held.
However, Republicans have refused the demand.
Grassley has reportedly given Ford until 10 am on Friday morning to confirm if she will testify.
Ford's agreement to testify and subsequent demands seeking her safety that came on Thursday, were seen as her response to Grassley's statement.