Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Kavanaugh-Ford hearing before Senate Judiciary Committee

Kavanaugh-Ford hearing before Senate Judiciary Committee

Christine Blasey Ford, admitting she was "terrified", opened her testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by explaining that she still believed it was her "civic duty" to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had been assaulted and still feels the effects of the incident.

Ford has alleged Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, attempted to forcibly remove her clothes and held his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming while at a house party in the 1980s. Ford said she felt Kavanaugh might accidentally kill her.

The Judiciary panel's daylong hearing, an extraordinary Senate airing of long-ago and painfully personal memories, came as GOP support for Kavanaugh's ascension to Supreme Court lay in the balance.

Picked by President Donald Trump, Kavanaugh is seeking to fill the Supreme Court's pivotal ninth seat. One of those, Deborah Ramirez, said Kavanaugh exposed his penis to her during a drunken party at Yale's Lawrance Hall dormitory when they were both undergraduates, which Kavanaugh has denied. He has denied all the accusations. "I spoke to somebody 38 years ago, and it may not be good", he said, adding: "The people that have complained to me about it the most about what's happening is women".

Swetnick said in a sworn statement released Wednesday that Kavanaugh took part in efforts during high school to get girls intoxicated so that a group of boys could have sex with them, but she will not be appearing before the Senate committee Thursday.

She said that over the years, she convinced herself that because she was not raped, she should just pretend that it did not happen.

Grassley and the panel's top Democrat, Sen. "I don't have all the answers, and I don't remember as much as I would like to", she says in the testimony. "And nobody could listen to her deliver those words and talk about the assault and the impact it had on her life and not have your heart go out to her".

Ford's accusation isn't the only one against Kavanaugh.

"Nowhere in any of these six Federal Bureau of Investigation reports ... was there a whiff of any issue, any issue at all related to inappropriate sexual behavior", Grassley said.

But they say Trump was encouraged by Kavanaugh's performance. "And outraged." Kavanaugh said.

Ford says no one helped write the letter she sent privately to Sen. Trump's fellow Republicans control the chamber by a narrow 51-49 margin. "I like beer", he said, but he also said he'd never passed out and never attacked Ford.

Kavanaugh called certain allegations against him a "joke" and a "farce".

But he moved beyond simple denials to going on offense, accusing Democrats of targeting him to assuage political grudges. In the front row, family and friends quietly cried including his wife, Ashley, whose lips were trembling.

In advance of Thursday's hearing, Trump emphatically defended Kavanaugh but signaled there was potential yet for to change his mind about his own nominee.

Trump described Kavanaugh as a "great gentleman" and a "great intellect" and said he believed the accusations against the conservative judge were "false". The official said aides understood that Trump was reacting positively to the performance.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing earlier this month was marred by dozens of protesters interrupting the hearing even before Ford's allegation became public.

Feinstein asked Kavanaugh if he wanted to say more about Swetnick's allegations.

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