The woman who accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her will not testify to the Senate next week, her lawyer says.
Christine Blasey Ford ‘s attorney told CNN her client has been “deflecting death threats and harassment.”
Lawyer Lisa Banks said before her client goes to Congress, she wants an FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh.
The nominee, who denies the claim, has met officials at the White House for a second day.
Prof Ford, a psychology lecturer in California, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to remove her clothing in 1982 when they were both teenagers in a Washington DC suburb.
She says he pinned her to a bed and clamped his hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream.
Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has called the allegation “completely false.”
Prof Ford’s legal team says they have written to the Senate Judiciary Committee declining its offer to testify.
Her lawyer told CNN on Tuesday night: “It’s premature to talk about a hearing on Monday because she [Prof Ford] has been dealing with the threats, the harassment and the safety of her family and that’s what she’s been focused on for the last couple of days.”
She said that since going public with her allegation in the Washington Post on Sunday, Prof Ford has been trying to work out where her family are going to sleep at night.
The legal team’s letter says that Prof Ford ‘s family has been forced to move out of their home, her email has been hacked and she has been impersonated online.
The correspondence says “a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley later said that there was no reason to delay Prof Ford’s testimony as the aim would be to establish “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,” he said in a statement.