In a matter of days, Christine Blasey Ford has become one of the most publicly known people in the U.S. For just as long, she has publicly maintained both her silence and the vanishing traces of her private life before both of those options are foreclosed, possibly for good, as she mulled whether to testify on Capitol Hill about her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

It’s now clear that Ford has, however reluctantly, ventured into the domain of the would-be political celebrity—and that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has made Ford’s publicity his business. On Monday, he opted for the second time in as many days to openly publish what Ford had initiated as confidential exchanges with him and with his colleague, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, about an incident Ford claims occurred when she and Kavanaugh were in high school. Monday’s dispatch took the form of a letter Ford had sent directly to Grassley, while Sunday’s consisted of a leaked and posted copy of the letter about Kavanaugh that Ford first sent to Sen. Feinstein last summer.

In addressing Grassley, Ford affirmed that she was ready to appear before him and his congressional colleagues—news her legal team had circulated in a statement released Sunday night. She also put her reasons for coming forward about Kavanaugh in her own words.

“Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life,” Ford wrote. “I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates. My original intent was first and foremost to be a helpful citizen—in a confidential way that would minimize collateral damage to all families and friends involved.”

Though Dr. Christine Blasey, as she is known professionally, spelled out the “personal” nature of her communique to Grassley, she left the decision of what to do with it up to him. “I kindly ask you to use your best discretion regarding this personal letter,” she said.

Ford also described how she had received death threats, her workplace and home turf had been invaded by media professionals, and her family had been obliged to seek the protection and shelter provided by their “friends in the broader community.” She admitted that she is “frightened” by all of the above, but she assured Grassley that she would still show up to provide “answers to all your questions.”

In closing, Ford made a last request. “I ask for fair and respectful treatment,” she said.

Journalist Yashar Ali posted a copy of Ford’s letter to Grassley on Twitter Monday afternoon:


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