Brett Kavanaugh (File Photo/Chinanews.com)
The woman who had accused Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify in Congress next week, her lawyer said Saturday.
The announcement came minutes before a deadline set by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to decide whether to testify.
Ford "accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week," Ford's lawyer Debra Katz said in an email.
The email did not specify if Ford has agreed to a Wednesday hearing proposed by the committee, but indicated that Katz will continue negotiations with Grassley's staff to hammer out the details.
The response was met with skepticism from the White House, which said Ford's decision was "a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday."
Ford accused Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her in the 1980s while they were in high school. The accusations emerged just before the Senate Judiciary Committee is prepared to send Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor, disrupting the Republican's plan to push Kavanaugh through the Senate by the end of the month.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusations but senators across the aisle said both sides of the story should be properly heard before the confirmation procedure proceeds.
Last week Ford requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation launch a probe into Kavanaugh's allegations, but was rejected by Grassley.