Kavanaugh arrives with his wife to save his Supreme Court nomination

‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed’: Furious and tearful Brett Kavanaugh calls nomination process a ‘national disgrace’ – after his accuser Christine Ford says she KNOWS he tried to rape her

  • Blockbuster Senate hearing put Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his sexual-assault accused Christine Ford on a globally watched hot-seat 
  • Kavanaugh, who arrived hand-in-hand with his wife, gave a furious defense to claims he groped and tried to disrobe Ford during a high school party in 1982
  • ‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed,’ he said
  • Earlier today, Ford gave an emotional testimony, where she said: ‘I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified’
  • She told the hearing that it was ‘absolutely not’ possible she mistook another teenage attacker for Kavanaugh
  • Ford said she could remember the assault clearly because those memories ‘have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult’
  • Trump will be watching the hearing to see whether his Supreme Court nominee’s performance is confident enough to match his stern written denials   
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Brett Kavanaugh nearly broke down in tears multiple times in a 45-minute emotional opening statement to senators on Thursday, as he angrily described the effect of the allegations against him on his family and his daughters – saying his youngest even wanted to pray for Christine Blasey Ford.

Visibly angry, he repeatedly stopped to blow his nose and drink water as he unleashed against the Democrats on the committee, accusing them of making him the victim of a smear campaign saying: ‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed.’

And he said he believed it was an attack not just on Donald Trump who nominated him, but in revenge for ‘the Clintons’, a reference to his work on Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton. 

‘This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,’ he said.

Kavanaugh choked up and took deep, heaving breaths as he talked about what his youngest daughter told his wife the night before he testified. 

‘Little Liza all of 10 years of old, said to Ashley, we should pray for the woman. That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10 year old,’ he said.

Then he had to pause, choke back tears and regain his composure.

‘We mean no ill will,’ he added.

Kavanaugh was emotional again when talking about his yearbook. ‘For one thing, our yearbook was a disaster,’ he said, in reference to the reports of what was written in it.

‘Some people wanted the yearbook to be a combination of Animal House, Candy Shack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which were all recent movies at that time,’ he noted, adding ‘many of us went along with the yearbook to the point of absurdity.’

He added: ‘This past week my friends and I have cringed when we talked about it to each other.’

He specifically reference – without mentioning her name – Renate Schroeder, who The New York Times reported on earlier this week, noting a ‘Renate’ reference appeared 14 times in Kavanaugh’s yearbook with Kavanaugh listed as a ‘Renate Alumni.’ 




Kavanaugh gave an emotional and furious testimony in defense of his name when he took his place before the Senate on Thursday


Brett Kavanaugh arrived for a make-or-break evidence session hand in hand with his wife Ashley on Thursday


Christine Blasey Ford looked emotional during a tense Senate hearing on Thursday where she testified that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when she was 15

‘It was not related to sex,’ he said bluntly.

‘I’m so sorry for her for that yearbook reference,’ he said and choked up again as he added: ‘She was and is a great person.’

He also reiterated his claim he made in a Fox News interview on Monday that he was a virgin in high school and for years afterward.

‘This is not a topic I ever imagined would come up in a judicial confirmation hearing,’ he said.

‘I never had sexual intercourse of anything close to it during high school or for many years after that,’ he added.

Kavanaugh also admitted he liked beer, still likes beer but added it doesn’t mean he sexually assaulted anyone.

‘I liked beer. I still like beer. But I never drank beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted someone,’ he said.

But he warned: ‘If every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault we are in a new place in this country.’

The Judiciary Committee’s leading Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, grilled Kavanaugh about the FBI’s lack of involvement in investigating Ford’s allegation.

‘I’ll do whatever the committee wants,’ Kavanaugh responded. ‘I wanted a hearing the day after the allegation came up!’

‘Whatever the committee decides, I’m all-in immediately,’ he said.

Kavanaugh lectured Feinstein about the FBI’s typical procedures related to judicial nominations.

‘The FBI doesn’t reach a conclusion,’ he said, describing the standard interview reports the Bureau produces. 


Brett Kavanaugh nearly broke down in tears as he described the effect of the allegations against him on his family and his daughters on Thursday


Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday 




Both Kavanaugh’s mother Martha, left, and wife Ashley, right, looked upset as they listened to his testimony


Martha Kavanaugh began crying during the hearing as she sat beside her husband and Kavanaugh’s father Edward 


Kavanaugh’s parents also appeared stoic as they heard their son testify about the sexual assault allegations on Thursday 


Christine Blasey Ford reacts to Kavanaugh’s testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27

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    ‘They would just give you a couple of 302s telling you what we said.’

    Feinstein complained that the FBI isn’t doing those interviews, ‘and isn’t giving us any facts.’

    ‘You’re interviewing me! You’re interviewing me, senator!’ he fired back. ‘You’re doing it!’

    Democrat Dick Durbin demanded to know why Kavanaugh wasn’t demanding an FBI investigation to prove his innocence.

    ‘Turn to Don McGahn and tell him it’s time to get this done,’ Durbin told him, referring to President Trump’s White House counsel in the front row.

    He asked McGahn to suspend Kavanaugh’s nomination until the FBI can carry out its own probe.

    ‘If there is no truth to her charges,’ Durbin said, referring to Ford, ‘the FBI investigation will show that. Are you afraid that they won’t?’

    Chairman Grassley interjected that Durbin didn’t need Kavanaugh’s permission to spring the FBI into action. ‘If you want an FBI report, you can ask for it yourself!’ he barked.

    Kavanaugh said Durbin was asking ‘a phony question because the FBI doesn’t reach conclusions.

    But, hiding nothing, Kavanaugh said he would ‘welcome whatever the committee wants to do because I’m telling the truth.’

    ‘I’m innocent! I’m innocent of this charge!’ he shouted.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont attacked Kavanaugh over Mark Judge’s fictionalized writing about his alcoholic youth.

    An indignant Kavanaugh shot back that the senator was ‘mocking’ a man’s addiction. 

    Kavanaugh was visibly angry when he started talking Thursday, demanding senators to think about the facts and his willingness to testify in the wake of the allegations against him as they weigh whether or not to confirm him to the Supreme Court.

    Practically shouting into the microphone, Kavanaugh on Thursday blasted the Senate Judiciary Committee for waiting 10 days to let him give his side of the story, noting he denied the allegations as soon as they were made public.

    ‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations. The ten-day delay has been harmful to me and my family, to the supreme court and to the country,’ he said.

    ‘The day after the allegation appeared, I told this committee that I wanted a hearing as soon as possible to clear my name,’ he noted. ‘I demanded a hearing for the very next day.’

    He slammed the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for failing in their role in the confirmation process.

    ‘This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process. But you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy,’ he said.

    He also charged Democrats with a political plot to destroy him with the unwitting help of Ford. And, he alleged, it was their way of attacking President Donald Trump and getting revenge for what happened to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    ‘This whole two week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit,’ he said, going on to charge it was ‘fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus,’ he charged.

    ‘Shortly after I was nominated, the Democratic senate leader said he would oppose me with everything he’s got. A Democratic senator on this committee publicly referred to me as evil. Evil. Think about that word,’ he said.


    Democrat Dick Durbin (pictured with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif) demanded to know why Kavanaugh wasn’t demanding an FBI investigation to prove his innocence


    Senator Lindsey Graham (right) went on a furious rant during the hearing, where he told Kavanaugh he didn’t believe his denials and that he hoped he never got a seat. Pictured, L-R: Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and Lindsey Graham look at a phone as Brett Kavanaugh testifies about sexual assault 


    U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reacts during testimony from Christine Blasey Ford at a Judiciary Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27

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      ‘This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits. When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes. And then, and then, as no doubt was expected, if not planned came a long series of false last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred,’ he said.

      Kavanaugh vowed to stay in the confirmation process no matter what.

      ‘You may defeat me in the final vote but you’ll never get me to quit – not ever,’ he said. ‘I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You have tried hard. You given it your all. No one can question your effort.’

      Kavanaugh, who has been accused by three women of sexual assault, also vehemently denied every committing sexual assault on anyone.

      ‘I’m here today to tell the truth. I have never sexually assaulted anyone – not ever,’ he said. ‘Not in high school, not in college, not ever.’

      Kavanaugh walked into the hearing room stone-faced, holding his wife Ashley’s hand after Ford finished nearly three hours of testimony.

      ‘I have never done this to her, not to anyone,’ he noted.

      He went through, point-by-point, why he wasn’t guilty.

      ‘I’m not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in someplace at some time. But I have never done this to her or to anyone. That’s not who I am, it is not who I was. I am innocent of this charge. I intend no ill will to Dr. Ford and her family,’ he said.

      He passionately laid out his life in public service – from his time in the Bush White House to his work on the federal bench – noting there had never been an allegation against him in past confirmation hearings for the federal bench nor during an background checks.

      ‘A lifetime of public service and a lifetime of high profile public service at the highest levels of American government. Never a hint of anything of this kind. And that’s because nothing of this kind ever happened,’ he said.

      He laid out his argument in a lawyerly fashion, refuting one-by-one the allegations Ford made when she claimed he pinned her to a bed at a teenage party in the 1980s, groped her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream.

      ‘I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford. I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I never attended a gathering like the one that Dr. Ford describes in her allegation. I’ve never sexually assaulted Dr. Ford or anyone. Again, I’m not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person, in someplace, at some time, but I have never done that to her or to anyone,’ he said.

      He also said he may he never met Ford during high school.

      ‘It’s possible we met at some point at some events, although I do not recall that. To repeat, all of the people identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party have said they do not remember anything such party ever happening,’ he noted.

      He then talked about how he support women throughout his professional career, emphasizing how many women he has hired over the years.

      ‘A majority of my 48 law clerks over the last 12 years have been women,’ he noted. ‘In my time on the bench, no federal judge, not a single one in the country has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.’

      And he ended his opening statement with dramatic words: ‘I swear today under oath before the Senate and the nation, before my family and god I am innocent of this charge.’ 

      He made clear from the beginning these were his thoughts and words.


      L-R: Kavanaugh’s mother Martha Kavanaugh, family friend Laura Cox Kaplan, and wife Ashley Kavanaugh, listen as Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations


      US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh admitted during testimony he liked beer, still likes beer but added it doesn’t mean he sexually assaulted anyone


      Donald F. McGahn, White House Council, watches as Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill

      ‘I wrote this statement myself. No one has seen a draft except for one of my law clerks. This is my statement,’ a defiant Kavanaugh said.

      The nominee had arrived for the make-or-break evidence session hand in hand with his wife Ashley – after hours of testimony from Christine Ford, the woman who says he tried to rape her when she was 15.

      Neither smiled as they walked into the Senate committee room for his testimony, in which he will have to convince Republican senators who hold his Supreme Court nomination in their hands that he is worth voting for. 

      ‘I’m here today to tell the truth. I have never sexually assaulted anyone – not ever,’ he said.

      Kavanaugh walked into the hearing room stone-faced, holding his wife Ashley’s hand after Ford finished nearly three hours of testimony.

      ‘I have never done this to her, not to anyone,’ he noted. 

      He made clear from the beginning these were his thoughts and words.

      ‘I wrote this statement myself. No one has seen a draft except for one of my law clerks. This is my statement,’ a defiant Kavanaugh said.

      The nominee had arrived for the make-or-break evidence session hand in hand with his wife Ashley – after hours of testimony from Christine Ford, the woman who says he tried to rape her when she was 15.

      Neither smiled as they walked into the Senate committee room for his testimony, in which he will have to convince Republican senators who hold his Supreme Court nomination in their hands that he is worth voting for.

      The arrival was after Ford was called ‘credible’ and thanked for her testimony by the sex crimes prosecutor brought in to avoid the appearance of a group of older men questioning a woman who says she is a sex crime victim.

      In emotional testimony, Ford, 51, came close to tears as she said repeatedly that she knew Kavanaugh was the man who tried to rape her.

      ‘No and I would like to reiterate again that I was trying to get the information to you while there looked to be a list of other credible qualified candidates,’ she told senators when asked to clarify if she came forward for political reasons.

      Ford ended almost three hours of testimony with even Republican senators saying her testimony was credible. 

      ‘I found no reason to find her not credible,’ GOP Senator John Cornyn said.

      Her credible testimony and shaking questioning from the lawyer hired by Republicans to do their questioning for them left Kavanaugh with a tough task ahead of him.

      ‘His reputation is on the line, his career as well,’ Cornyn said of Kavanaugh.  

      He is up next before the Senate Judiciary Committee to give his side of the story regarding a night in 1982, at a high school party, where Ford alleges a drunk Kavanaugh held her on to a bed, tried to take her clothes off, and covered her mouth when she screamed. 

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        The Supreme Court nominee arrived amid a heavy police presence to the court


        Brett Kavanaugh says that Leland Ingham Keyser (pictured) made a sworn statement that she was not at the party 

        Ford, 51, said earlier in her testimony she wanted to get information about her allegation to the White House before President Donald Trump formally nominated Kavanaugh, 53, to the high court but she was unsure how.

        She said she contacted her local member of Congress – Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo – and The Washington Post’s tip line.

        Ford, a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, said Eshoo’s office contacted her on the day Trump nominated Kavanaugh, which was July 9th.

        Ford, who was questioned personally by the 10 Democratic senators on the panel while all 11 Republican senators deferred their time to sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, addressed questions of her credibility, her belief that it was Kavanaugh who was behind the attack, and her motive in coming forward so many years after the incident in question took place.  

        Ford said it was ‘absolutely not’ possible she mistook another teenage attacker for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying she was ‘100 percent’ certain he was the man she says sexually assaulted her in 1982 when she was 15.

        Dismissing claims of a ‘Kavanaugh lookalike,’ she told Senators he was certainly her attacker at age 17 – ‘very much so.’

        And when asked her degree of certainty it was Kavanaugh, Ford leaned down into the microphone and said: ‘100 percent.’

        Committee Republicans have suggested that someone else, not Kavanaugh, groped and tried to disrobe Ford 36 years ago, and they have interviewed at least two men who believe it might have been them. 

        But Ford dismissed that idea.

        The two hours of questioning began with sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell acknowledging that Ford was ‘terrified.’

        Throughout her questioning, Ford revealed how she came to her decision to go public and the how she left her grandmother’s funeral to take a polygraph test on the incident. 

        ‘I had left my grandmother’s funeral at Fort Lincoln Cemetery that day and was on a tight schedule to get a plane to Manchester, New Hampshire, so [Jeremiah Hanafin, the polygraph administrator] was willing to come to me, which was appreciated,’ she said.

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          Ford looked frustrated and appeared to be struggling to keep her composure as she explained it was ‘absolutely not’ possible she mistook another teenage attacker for Kavanaugh 


          Questioning began with sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell (pictured) acknowledging that Ford was ‘terrified’

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            ‘So he administered a polygraph on the day that you attended your grandmother’s funeral?,’ Mitchell.

            ‘Correct,’ Ford replied. ‘It might have been the next day. I spent the night in the hotel.’

            Ford said her primary memory of taking the test was ‘crying a lot.’  

            Asked why she took it, Ford said: ‘I didn’t see any reason not to do it.’

            ‘I found it extremely stressful,’ she said. ‘Much longer than I anticipated. I told my whole life story, I felt like. I endured it. It was fine.’

            Attorneys for Ford handed over the results of the test to the Senate Judiciary Committee and those were results were officially entered into the committee’s record. 

            HOW THE CHRISTINE FORD BRETT KAVANAUGH HEARING WORKS

            Christine Ford and Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing is a moment in history – and has its own rules.

            Christine Ford testifies first, followed by Brett Kavanaugh. They are not expected to be in the same room together at any time.

            Each hearing follows this format:

            • Opening remarks from Charles Grassley, the Republican committee chairman
            • Opening remarks from Dianne Feinstein, ranking Democratic member
            • Opening statement from Christine Blasey Ford or Brett Kavanaugh
            • First question from a Republican senator – but the Republicans have hired sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to ask questions on their behalf.
            • The question and answer and follow-up questions last five minutes. Then it is the turn of the first Democratic senator.
            • Each of the 11 Republican and 10 Democratic senators has five minutes to ask, or have asked, questions to Ford and Kavanaugh.
            • At the end of the last question, each witness is excused without a closing statement.

            Ford initially said she didn’t know who paid for the test but when Mitchell returned to questioning Ford on who was paying for her legal fees and associated costs, Ford’s attorneys clarified the matter.

            ‘Let me put an end to this mystery: her lawyers have paid for her polygraph, as is routine,’ Ford attorney Debra Katz said.

            And both lawyers are working for free, they revealed.

            ‘Both her counsel are doing this pro bono and are not being paid and have no expectation of being paid,’ said Ford lawyer Michael Bromwich.

            And, in one of the more emotional moments of the morning, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Ford what stuck out to her in her memory.

            ‘Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,’ Ford said, her voice breaking up. ‘The laughter, the upraised laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.’

            ‘You never forgot that laughter?,’ Leahy said as Ford nodded and one of her lawyers patted her back for reassurance.

            ‘I was under one of them while they laughed. Two friends having fun together,’ Ford said. 

            At several moments throughout her time before the panel of 21 senators, Ford grew emotional, fighting back tears and struggling to keep her composure. 

            Ford was almost in tears at one point at another point in the questioning when Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal praised her courage.

            Blumenthal quoted from the 2015 book ‘My Story’ from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who sat a few seats down from him on the judiciary panel, in his praise from Ford.

            Blumenthal noted Graham wrote that it takes ‘courage from a deep and hidden place for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant.’

            Ford fought back tears and Graham could be seen nodding as Blumenthal read from his book. 

            Ford’s morning began with her own testimony, where, over deep, shaky breathing, she said Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge had been ‘extremely inebriated’ on the summer 1982 night. 


            This image released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, shows Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar, from the Summer of 1982


             



            Her voice quavered as she described her trauma. 

            Ford held back tears as she described the teenage party where she claims Kavanaugh attacked her as his friend Mark Judge watched.

            ‘I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t remember as much as I would like to,’ she said. ‘But the details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult.’ 

            ‘When I got to the small gathering, people were drinking beer in a small living room on the first floor of the house. I drank one beer that evening. Brett and Mark were visibly drunk. Early in the evening, I went up a narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to a second floor to use the bathroom. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was pushed from behind into a bedroom. I couldn’t see who pushed me.’

            ‘I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming,’ she recalled.

            ‘This was what terrified me the most and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.’

            She added: ‘Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time.’

            Ford said that moment scared her the most, and the memory of the boys’ laughter left the most indelible imprint on her mind.

            She also addressed questions about why she did not report the assault at the time.

            ‘For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details. I did not want to tell my parents that I, at age 15, was in a house without any parents present, drinking beer with boys,’ she said.

            ‘I tried to convince myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should be able to move on and just pretend that it had never happened,’ Ford noted. 


            Ford revealed that she had first mentioned her allegations to her husband during a major renovation of their home in Palo Alto, California (pictured). Ford said that she had wanted two front doors as a result of the anxiety and nervousness she had been left with as a result of the alleged attack. Eventually she told her husband what she says occurred in therapy

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              Mitchell’s questioning focused on the facts surrounding Ford’s story. She tried to pin down how Ford came to the conclusion the party happened in 1982.

              ‘I can’t give the exact date and I wish I could,’ Ford said.

              She added she used her memories to narrow down a year.

              ‘I’m just using memories when I got my drivers’ license,’ she said. ‘I did not drive to or home from that party and once I got my driving license I liked to drive myself.’

              President Trump was watching the hearing from Air Force One, as he returned from meetings at the United Nations in New York, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.  

              In her testimony, Ford also explained why she came forward when she did, saying she thought it was her duty to offer her knowledge about a nominee to the Supreme Court. 

              ‘I thought it was my civic duty to relay the information I had about Mr. Kavanaugh’s conduct so that those considering his potential nomination would know about the assault,’ Ford said. 

              She recounted how she wanted to keep her name confidential so she would not have to put her family at risk. Ford and her family had to leave their home after her name became public and she has received threats to her life. Security for herself was one of her conditions for Thursday’s hearing.

              ‘My hope was that providing the information confidentially would be sufficient to allow the Senate to consider Mr. Kavanaugh’s serious misconduct without having to make myself, my family, or anyone’s family vulnerable to the personal attacks and invasions of privacy we have faced since my name became public,’ she said.

              But, she said, that changed when reports emerged Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a letter about a ‘#metoo’ situation involving Kavanaugh.

              Ford had reported her allegation against Kavanaugh to Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, her California congresswoman. She also contacted The Washington Post’s tip line.

              ‘I stated that Mr. Kavanaugh had assaulted me in the 1980s in Maryland. This was an extremely hard thing for me to do, but I felt I couldn’t NOT do it,’ she said.

              Ford met with Eshoo’s staff on Jul 11 and with the congresswoman herself on July 13. She then wrote a letter to Feinstein outlining her allegations, which was delivered to one of the senator’s aides by one of Eshoo’s aides.

              ‘Reporters appeared at my home and at my job demanding information about this letter, including in the presence of my graduate students. They called my boss and coworkers and left me many messages, making it clear that my name would inevitably be released to the media,’ she said.

              ‘I decided to speak out publicly to a journalist who had responded to the tip I had sent to The Washington Post and who had gained my trust. It was important to me to describe the details of the assault in my own words,’ Ford noted.

              She offered words of appreciation for the thousands of message of support she has received but also described the threats against her.

              ‘My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core,’ she said.

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                Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor from Arizona, gestures to a map as she examines Ford


                Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) talks with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) prior during the confirmation hearing 


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                  ‘People have posted my personal information on the internet. This has resulted in additional emails, calls, and threats. My family and I were forced to move out of our home,’ she added.

                  Ford spoke so softly at the start of her remarks that Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked her to move the microphone closer so she could be heard.

                  She spoke of her fear at being before the panel of 21 senators.

                  ‘I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified,’ she said.

                  She also requested some caffeine and was brought a cup of coffee by Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

                  Grassley offered a break after her testimony but Ford declined.

                  ‘I’m okay. I got the coffee so I’m okay,’ she said.

                  Questioning was then turned over prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was hired by Republicans to ask questions for them. All eleven of the Republicans on the committee are white males, an image the GOP wants to avoid when it comes to asking questions about sexual assault.

                  Senators have the option of using Mitchell to ask their questions during their five minutes of time or asking them themselves.

                  Grassley, who started off the questioning, opted to use Mitchell.

                  Mitchell, a career prosecutor of sex crime cases, began her questioning with an apology. She noted Ford said she was terrified to be here. ‘I just wanted to let you know that I am very sorry,’ she said. 

                  At one point, Feinstein asked how she could be so sure that Kavanaugh was her attacker.

                  ‘The same way that I’m sure that I’m talking to you right now. Basic memory functions and also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that sort of as you know encodes – that neurotransmitter encodes memories into the hippocampus so the trauma related experience then is kind of locked there whereas other details kind of drift.’

                  Feinstein: ‘So what you are telling us is this could not be a case of mistaken identity?’

                  ‘Absolutely not,’ Ford replied.  

                  Ford’s emotional testimony came after the senior Republican and Democratic leaders of the committee clashed in their opening remarks over her and Kavanaugh’s treatment and the handling of Ford’s initial allegations, made in a letter to Dianne Feinstein, who is both the ranking Democratic member and the senior senator from Ford’s home state of California. 

                  Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, complained that committee Democrats sat on accusations from Christine Ford for more than six weeks, raising ‘secret evidence’ only after Kavanaugh’s hearings were thought to be over.

                  And he claimed no committee Democrats participated at all in vetting Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying ‘stonewalling’ political opponents had slowed down a search for the truth.

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                    Ford submitted to a polygraph test earlier this year, regarding her claims, which she passed


                    The nation will be watching as Brett Kavanaugh, right, leaving his Maryland home Wednesday, gives his testimony today




                    Ford (left in her 1984 yearbook photo) claims the assault took place when she was 15 and Kavanaugh (right in his yearbook photo) was 17

                    Ranking committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California has said she kept them quiet at Ford’s request.

                    ‘She wanted this held confidential, and I held it confidential up to a point where the witness was willing to come forward,’ Feinstein acknowledged, saying she understood how women who make sexual misconduct allegations can be dragged through the mud. 

                    The panel’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, took immediate steps to broaden the case into a test of the general treatment of female accusers.

                    ‘How women are treated in the United states with this kind of concern is really wanting a lot of reform,’ she said at the top of her remarks.

                    ‘The entire country is watching how we handle these allegations she said.’

                    This is not a trial of Dr. Ford. It’s a job interview of Brett Kavanaugh,’ she said. ‘Is Brett Kavanaugh who we want in the most prestigious court in the country. Is he the best we can do?’ she asked.

                    Feinstein, who was one of the original recipients of Ford’s anonymous allegation, defended herself after Grassley send his own introduction complaining of how the information came out.

                    She also got a jump on the chairman by offering a generous introduction of the witness. 

                    ‘But in the meantime good morning Dr. Ford,’ Feinstein said. ‘I know this wasn’t easy for you,’ she said.

                    She then began to offer an introduction of Ford, since Grassley had not yet done so.

                    ‘I didn’t forget to do that,’ Grassley quickly jumped in.

                    Feinstein put the matter in the context of sexual assault accusations. ‘When survivors do report their assaults it’s often years later due to the trauma they suffered and fearing their stories will not be believed,’ she said.

                    Feinstein made an immediate comparison to Anita Hill’s accusations against Clarence Thomas.

                    ‘She was treated badly accused of lying attacked and her credibility put to the test throughout the process,’ Feinstein said.

                    She said it took a ‘public outcry’ for Ford to get to come before the Judiciary panel.

                    Feinstein also brought up two Kavanaugh accusers who were not present: Debbie Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

                    Of Ramirez, Feinstein said: ‘She was at a college party where Kavanaugh exposed himself to her.’

                    ‘Each of these stories are troubling on their on and each of these allegations should be investigated by the FBI,’ said Feinstein. 

                    ‘How women are treated in the United States with this kind of concern is really wanting a lot of reform,’ Feinstein said.

                    Grassley began with an apology to both Christine Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh for death threats and other intrusions they have endured since their names became front-page fodder. 

                    They ‘have been through a horrible couple weeks,’ he said, calling the pressure ‘unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy.’ 

                    Grassley said media leaks that forced Ford into the public eye were ‘a shameful way to treat our witness, who insisted on confidentiality.’ He also claimed Democrats have ‘refused to participate’ in vetting Kavanaugh afterward.

                    ‘If they’re really concerned with going to the truth, why wouldn’t you want to talk to the accused?’ he asked.


                    Members of the Handmaid’s Resistance AZ join another demonstrator in front of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s office as they protest the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Thursday 


                    Protesters gathered in the Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, in support of Christine Blasey Ford 

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                      Feinstein insisted Ford was unfairly risking ridicule by speaking about ‘being assaulted and fearing for her life,’ and she ‘did not want to make her story public.’ 

                      President Trump was ‘more annoyed than angered’ as he prepared to watch parts of a blockbuster Supreme Court hearing centered on vivid sexual misconduct charges against his nominee, a White House aide said Thursday morning.

                      The president will be looking intently at Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s performance, the aide explained, to ‘see whether he’s confident or timid’ – and decide whether his performance matches the strength of his written denials.

                      Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both placed calls to Kavanaugh on Thursday morning, telling him to be unequivocal and forceful when he insists he’s innocent, according to a second aide. 

                      The message: Be firm with the Democrats, and don’t worry about the accuser you never knew.

                      And as the nation steeled itself for a repeat of the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings where the nation first heard the name ‘Anita Hill,’ the commander-in-chief had a split focus.

                      Waking up in New York, he spent the early morning hearing his usual briefings before heading to the United Nations for a meeting with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and her senior aides.

                      The verbal fisticuffs got underway at 10:00 a.m., nearly a half-hour before he’s scheduled to board a helicopter on a pier in the East River and head home on Air Force One.

                      Trump planned to watch the drama unfold between Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Ford, while he flies back to Washington on Air Force One, the official said.


                      Other side: Pro-Kavanaugh groups were also present in Washington D.C. as the Republicans try to rally round their embattled nominee

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                        ‘I want to watch,’ the president told reporters Wednesday during an hour-long press conference. ‘I want to see. I hope I can watch.’

                        Ford has alleged that a drunken, teenage Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a high school party in 1982, pinning her to a bed and covering her mouth so she couldn’t shout for help.

                        Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans have been busily assembling his defense. In a summary of their work distributed Wednesday night, the GOP’s committee staff reported speaking to at least two men who believe they, not Kavanaugh, might have been responsible.

                        In his first sign of second-thinking, Trump said Wednesday that he might be persuaded to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination if the evidence and his hearing performance suggested Ford is telling the truth. 

                        ‘If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah sure,’ he said.

                        Coverage of the hearing began early in the morning on every cable news channel and all three major networks.

                        Morning broadcast programming was pre-empted in most cases during the hours when Ford is set to testify, but it was unclear whether ABC, CBS and NBC would do the same for Kavanaugh later in the day – replacing their usual diet of fictional soap operas for the real thing.

                        Trump claimed Wednesday that he would be ‘meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow, but I will certainly, in some form, be able to watch.’

                        In what could be a sign of the increasing importance of Thursday’s high-stakes spectacle, his official schedule had no foreign meetings at all.

                        And the president’s entire afternoon, including Kavanaugh’s hot-seat hours, were left completely empty.

                        Asked Wednesday if Ford and Kavanaugh’s two other named accusers were liars, Trump punted.




                        Since Ford has come forward, both Julie Swetnick (left) and Deborah Ramirez (right) have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault 

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                          ‘I can’t tell you. I have to watch tomorrow. … I can’t tell you whether or not they’re liars until I hear them,’ he said. 

                          Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans have been busily assembling his defense. In a summary of their work distributed Wednesday night, the GOP’s committee staff reported speaking to at least two men who believe they, not Kavanaugh, might have been responsible.

                          In his first sign of second-thinking, Trump said Wednesday that he might be persuaded to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination if the evidence and his hearing performance suggested Ford is telling the truth.

                          ‘If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah sure,’ he said.

                          Coverage of the hearing began early in the morning on every cable news channel and all three major networks.

                          Morning broadcast programming was pre-empted in most cases during the hours when Ford is set to testify, but it was unclear whether ABC, CBS and NBC would do the same for Kavanaugh later in the day – replacing their usual diet of fictional soap operas for the real thing.

                          Trump claimed Wednesday that he would be ‘meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow, but I will certainly, in some form, be able to watch.’

                          • ‘I¿m there wrapping my arms around you’: Debbie Ramirez… Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, backs #MeToo and says ‘every woman…

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                          In what could be a sign of the increasing importance of Thursday’s high-stakes spectacle, his official schedule had no foreign meetings at all.

                          And the president’s entire afternoon, including Kavanaugh’s hot-seat hours, were left completely empty.

                          Asked Wednesday if Ford and Kavanaugh’s two other named accusers were liars, Trump punted.

                          ‘I can’t tell you. I have to watch tomorrow. … I can’t tell you whether or not they’re liars until I hear them,’ he said.  

                          READ CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD’S FULL OPENING STATEMENT TO SENATORS ACCUSING BRETT KAVANAUGH

                          Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, Members of the Committee. 

                          My name is Christine Blasey Ford. I am a Professor of Psychology at Palo Alto University and a Research Psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

                          I was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina and earned my degree in Experimental Psychology in 1988. 

                          I received a Master’s degree in 1991 in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. In 1996, I received a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California. 

                          I earned a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2009. I have been married to Russell Ford since 2002 and we have two children.

                          I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. 

                          I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.

                          I have described the events publicly before. I summarized them in my letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, and again in my letter to Chairman Grassley.

                          I understand and appreciate the importance of your hearing from me directly about what happened to me and the impact it has had on my life and on my family. 

                          I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I attended the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1980 to 1984. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school that opened in 1901. 

                          During my time at the school, girls at Holton-Arms frequently met and became friendly with boys from all-boys schools in the area, including Landon School, Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga High 2 School, country clubs, and other places where kids and their families socialized. 

                          This is how I met Brett Kavanaugh, the boy who sexually assaulted me. 

                          In my freshman and sophomore school years, when I was 14 and 15 years old, my group of friends intersected with Brett and his friends for a short period of time. 

                          I had been friendly with a classmate of Brett’s for a short time during my freshman year, and it was through that connection that I attended a number of parties that Brett also attended. 

                          We did not know each other well, but I knew him and he knew me. In the summer of 1982, like most summers, I spent almost every day at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland swimming and practicing diving. 

                          One evening that summer, after a day of swimming at the club, I attended a small gathering at a house in the Chevy Chase/Bethesda area. 

                          There were four boys I remember being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth, and one other boy whose name I cannot recall. I remember my friend Leland Ingham attending. 

                          I do not remember all of the details of how that gathering came together, but like many that summer, it was almost surely a spur of the moment gathering.

                          I truly wish I could provide detailed answers to all of the questions that have been and will be asked about how I got to the party, where it took place, and so forth. 

                          I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t remember as much as I would like to. 

                          But the details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget. 

                          They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult. 

                          When I got to the small gathering, people were drinking beer in a small living room on the first floor of the house. I drank one beer that evening. Brett and Mark were visibly drunk. 

                          Early in the evening, I went up a narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to a second floor to use the bathroom. 

                          When I got to the top of the stairs, I was pushed from behind into a bedroom. I couldn’t see who pushed me. 

                          Brett and Mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them. There was music already playing in the bedroom. 

                          It was turned up louder by either Brett or Mark once we were in the room. I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. 

                          He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy. 

                          Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes.

                          I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. 

                          This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me. 

                          Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time. 

                          Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not. 

                          During this assault, Mark came over and jumped on the bed twice while Brett was on top of me. 

                          The last time he did this, we toppled over and Brett was no longer on top of me. I was able to get up and run out of the room. 

                          Directly across from the bedroom was a small bathroom. I ran inside the bathroom and locked the door. 

                          I heard Brett and Mark leave the bedroom laughing and loudly walk down the narrow stairs, pin-balling off the walls on the way down. 

                          I waited and when I did not hear them come back up the stairs, I left the bathroom, ran down the stairs, through the living room, and left the house.

                          I remember being on the street and feeling an enormous sense of relief that I had escaped the house and that Brett and Mark were not coming outside after me.

                          Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details. 

                          I did not want to tell my parents that I, at age 15, was in a house without any parents present, drinking beer with boys. 

                          I tried to convince myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should just move and just pretend that it didn’t happen.

                          Over the years, I told very few friends that I had this traumatic experience. I told my husband before we were married that I had experienced a sexual assault. 

                          I had never told the details to anyone until May 2012, during a couples counseling session. 

                          The reason this came up in counseling is that my husband and I had completed a very extensive, very long, remodel of our home, and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand. 

                          In explaining why I wanted to have a second front door, I described the assault in detail. 

                          I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court and spoke a bit about his background. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh. 

                          After that May 2012 therapy session, I did my best to suppress memories of the assault because recounting the details caused me to relive the experience, and caused panic attacks and anxiety.

                          Occasionally I would discuss the assault in individual therapy, but talking about it caused me to relive the trauma, so I tried not to think about it or discuss it. 

                          But over the years, I went through periods where I thought about Brett’s attack. 

                          I confided in some close friends that I had an experience with sexual assault. Occasionally I stated that my assailant was a prominent lawyer or judge but I did not use his name.

                          I do not recall each person I spoke to about Brett’s assault, and some friends have reminded me of these conversations since the publication of The Washington Post story on September 16, 2018. 

                          But until July 2018, I had never named Mr. Kavanaugh as my attacker outside of therapy. 

                          This all changed in early July 2018. I saw press reports stating that Brett Kavanaugh was on the ‘short list’ of potential Supreme Court nominees. 

                          I thought it was my civic duty to relay the information I had about Mr. Kavanaugh’s conduct so that those considering his potential nomination would know about the assault. 

                          On July 6, 2018, I had a sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the President as soon as possible before a nominee was selected. 

                          I called my congressional representative and let her receptionist know that someone on the President’s shortlist had attacked me. 

                          I also sent a message to The Washington Post’s confidential tip line. I did not use my name, but I provided the names of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. 

                          I stated that Mr. Kavanaugh had assaulted me in the 1980s in Maryland. This was an extremely hard thing for me to do, but I felt I couldn’t NOT do it. 

                          Over the next two days, I told a couple of close friends on the beach in California that Mr. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted me. 

                          I was conflicted about whether to speak out. 

                          On July 9, 2018, I received a call from the office of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo after Mr. Kavanaugh had become the nominee. 

                          I met with her staff on July 11 and with her on July 13, describing the assault and discussing my fear about coming forward. 

                          Later, we discussed the possibility of sending a letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, who is one of my state’s Senators, describing what occurred. 

                          My understanding is that Representative Eshoo’s office delivered a copy of my letter to Senator Feinstein’s office on July 30, 2018.

                          The letter included my name, but requested that the letter be kept confidential. 

                          My hope was that providing the information confidentially would be sufficient to allow the Senate to consider Mr. Kavanaugh’s serious misconduct without having to make myself, my family, or anyone’s family vulnerable to the personal attacks and invasions of privacy we have faced since my name became public. 

                          In a letter on August 31, 2018, Senator Feinstein wrote that she would not share the letter without my consent.

                          I greatly appreciated this commitment. All sexual assault victims should be able to decide for themselves whether their private experience is made public. 

                          As the hearing date got closer, I struggled with a terrible choice: Do I share the facts with the Senate and put myself and my family in the public spotlight?

                          Or do I preserve our privacy and allow the Senate to make its decision on Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination without knowing the full truth about his past behavior? 

                          I agonized daily with this decision throughout August and early September 2018.

                          The sense of duty that motivated me to reach out confidentially to The Washington Post, Representative Eshoo’s office, and Senator Feinstein’s office was always there, but my fears of the consequences of speaking out started to increase. 

                          During August 2018, the press reported that Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation was virtually certain. 

                          Persons painted him as a champion of women’s rights and empowerment. I believed that if I came forward, my voice would be drowned out by a chorus of powerful supporters.

                          By the time of the confirmation hearings, I had resigned myself to remaining quiet and letting the Committee and the Senate make their decision without knowing what Mr. Kavanaugh had done to me.

                          Once the press started reporting on the existence of the letter I had sent to Senator Feinstein, I faced mounting pressure. 

                          Reporters appeared at my home and at my workplace demanding information about this letter, in the presence of my graduate students.

                          They called my bosses and coworkers and left me many messages, making it clear that my name would inevitably be released to the media. 

                          I decided to speak out publicly to a journalist who had originally responded to the tip I had sent to The Washington Post and who had gained my trust. It was important for me to describe the details of the assault in my own words. 

                          Since September 16th, the date of The Washington Post story, I have experienced an outpouring of support from people in every state of this country. 

                          Thousands and thousands of people who have had their lives dramatically altered by sexual violence have reached out to share their experience and have thanked me for coming forward. 

                          We have received tremendous support from our friends and our community. At the same time, my greatest fears have been realized – and the reality has been far worse than what I expected. 

                          My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats and I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. 

                          These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying and have rocked me to my core.

                          People have posted my personal information and that of my parents online on the internet. 

                          This has resulted in additional emails, calls, and threats. My family and I were forced to move out of our home. 

                          Since September 16, my family and I have been living in various secure locales, at time separated and at times together, with security guards. 

                          This past Tuesday evening, my work email account was hacked and messages were sent out trying to recant my description of the sexual assault.

                          Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life.

                          I have had to relive my trauma in front of the entire world, and have seen my life picked apart by people on television, in the media, and in this body who have never met me or spoken with me.

                          I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. 

                          Those who say that do not know me. I am an independent person and I am no one’s pawn. 

                          My motivation in coming forward was to be helpful and provide facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take into a serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed. 

                          It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. 

                          My responsibility is to tell you the truth. 

                          I understand that a professional prosecutor has been hired to ask me questions, and I am committed to doing my very best to answer them.

                          I have never been questioned by a prosecutor and I will do my best. 

                          At the same time, because the Committee Members will be judging my credibility, I hope to be able to engage directly with each of you. 

                          At this point, I will do my best to answer your questions.

                          And I request some caffeine.

                          [Some Coke or something?]

                          That sounds great. Thank you. 

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