Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California, has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when they were both high school students, allegations Kavanaugh has called “completely false.”   However, Ford’s accusation has thrown Kavanaugh’s nomination into doubt.

Dr. Ford detailed her allegation in a letter sent in July to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat.  The contents of the letter leaked last week and Ford identified herself in an interview with the Washington Post that included details about the alleged assault.

A U.S. Senate public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, September 24, where Ford and Kavanaugh would appear.  However, on Tuesday, Ford said she wanted her allegations to be investigated by the FBI before she appears at the U.S. Senate hearing. President Trump and other Republicans said they did not think the FBI needed to be involved.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said there was no reason to delay Ford’s testimony and an invitation for her to appear before the committee on Monday stands.  “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events.  Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is not reason for any further delay,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard.  My staff has reached out to Dr. Ford to hear her account, and they held a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh on Tuesday. To provide ample transparency, we will hold a public hearing on Monday to give these recent allegations a full airing,” Grassley  said.

It is unknown at this point whether Dr. Ford will actually appear at the hearing on Monday.  Her attorney Debra Katz has told the Senate Judiciary Committee that appearing at the Monday hearing would be a “deal breaker” for her client because she would not have enough time to prepare her testimony, while at the same time trying to take appropriate security precautions in the facet of the avalanche of threats Ford she has been receiving.

Grassley has give Ford until today to say whether she will testify next week.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Tuesday that the panel would vote on the nomination next week whether or not Dr. Ford testifies.  A vote in the committee would be a precursor to action in the full Senate.  “If she does not want to come Monday, publicly or privately, we’re going to move on and vote Wednesday,” Graham told Fox News.

The hearing would represent a potential make-or-break moment for the conservator federal appeals court judge’s confirmation chances. Republicans control the Senate by only a narrow margin, meaning any defections within the party could sink the nomination.