It’s showtime in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The dramatic hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is underway as Kavanaugh confronts allegations of sexual assault and serious misconduct. Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley noted that Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford have been subjected to vile threats over the past couple of weeks. Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations against him.
Christine Blasey Ford says she was afraid she was going to be raped or killed by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school in the 1980s.
In emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she said Kavanaugh was drunk and forced himself on her.
She said he laid on top of her and put his hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream.
She said Kavanaugh was “grinding” on her and trying to remove her clothes.
She noted that she eventually managed to escape and lock herself in a bathroom.
She told the committee that she is 100% sure her attacker was Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegation. Ford told senators that she has been terrified about publicly testifying but felt a responsibility to talk about what happened to her.
Ford called Kavanaugh “the boy who sexually assaulted me.” She explained after the alleged assault she was traumatized and suffered anxiety, relationship challenges, claustrophobia, PTSD and had to have two front doors built in her home so she could get out quickly if needed.
Watch: Dr. Blasey Ford testified she believed Brett Kavanaugh was accidentally going to kill her. It’s what terrified her the most. Watch live: https://t.co/k1CC4oUy8d pic.twitter.com/b4aiC6siOs tweet
Full text of accuser Christine Blasey Ford here.
Full text of Judge Brett Kavanaugh here.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is accompanied by two lawyers sitting beside her during her testimony. Debra Katz is sitting to her right. Katz is a civil rights and employment lawyer in the Washington, DC area. Sitting on Blasey Ford’s left is Michael Bromwich, who was attorney to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Blasey Ford told the committee that she knew her long-time friend Leland Ingham Keyser would be at the party with Mark Judge.
Ingham Keyser says she doesn’t know Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and doesn’t recall attending a party with him. Ford said Keyser was at the party where Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, but she says she has no memory of it. “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser’s lawyer, Howard Walsh, said in a statement.
Keyser’s lawyer wrote the statement after she was contacted by the Senate Judiciary Committee for information about the alleged incident. “I understand that you have been identified as an individual who was in attendance at a party that occurred circa 1982 described in a recent Washington Post article,” a committee staffer wrote Keyser earlier this week. Keyser told the Washington Post in a “brief interview” that she was close friends with Ford and believes her allegations about Kavanaugh.
Ford said she and her family have been subjected to constant, vile harassment and death threats in the past couple of weeks. She is a college professor in California.
She also admitted her attorney did not tell her that the Senate Judiciary Committee offered to come out to meet with her in California instead of her appearing in Washington D.C.
Blasey-Ford reportedly took a polygraph regarding the alleged assault the day of her grandmother’s funeral on advice of counsel in August. She initially was unable to reveal who paid for it.
Blasey-Ford recalled the bed on the right side of the room, the laughter, the attempts to escape when what she remembers from the incident asked by GOP attorney Mitchell.
She claims that there is no mistaken identity in who her attacker is and that she is 100% certain it was Brett Kavanaugh.
The questioning for Blasey-Ford continued following a 30-minute recess for lunch.
Rachel Mitchell, attorney for the Senate Republicans on the committee, again asked Christine Blasey Ford about the polygraph test she took in August and who paid for it.
One of her lawyers, Debra Katz, then jumped in and confirmed that “her lawyers have paid for her polygraph.”
“As is routine,” another one of her lawyers added.
“As is routine,” Katz repeated.
Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys told the committee Thursday that they are representing her on a pro bono basis during questioning from Mitchell about who was paying for Ford’s legal representation.
Ford’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said, “Both her counsel are doing this pro bono.”
“We are not being paid,” he said. “And we have no expectations of being paid.”
At 2:14 ET tensions escalated as Blasey-Ford asked to be excused through her attorney in the conclusion of her testimony.
They broke for a 45-minute recess shortly after and will return with Kavanaugh to testify before the Senate Committee.
Kavanaugh was sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 3:10 ET and began his testimony with an opening statement which addressed the following:
Balsey-Ford’s long-term friend Leland Ingham Keyser who she said attended to the party with her on the evening of the alleged attack said under penalty of felony that she does not recall attending the party nor ever meeting Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh said the confirmation process has become a “national disgrace.”
“The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process,” said Kavanaugh. “But you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.”
Kavanaugh also addressed Democrats behavior throughout the confirmation process.
Adding, that he will not quit despite Democrats strong efforts.
“I will not be intimidated from withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh said sternly.
“I’m here today, to tell the truth, I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
At another point, Kavanaugh, struggling to hold back tears, explained how the ordeal had affected his family, especially his 10-year-old daughter Liza.
He went on to give a timeline of his adolescent life, his career and to thank god for his family.
Kavanaugh reiterated that Dr. Ford’s “rebutted claim” could destroy his life and that he swears under oath and god that he is innocent of the charge.
The first round of questioning began at 3:55 p.m. ET.