Brett Kavanaugh testifies before Senate committee
The top Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee slammed one another’s party as the hearing began Thursday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) cast doubt on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s version of events and slammed Democrats for the way they handled her allegations.
Ford, he said, had refused an interview with the GOP-controlled panel.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the committee, praised Ford’s academic and professional background during her own introductory remarks.
“I am very grateful to you for your strength and your bravery in coming forward. I know it’s very hard,” Feinstein said before citing statistics about the prevalence of sexual assaults in the US and how many go unreported.
She also rebuked Republicans for refusing to order an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations and excluding other witnesses, including Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, who has also denied Ford’s charges.
An emotional Ford described the party where the assault allegedly took place.
“When I got to the small gathering, people were drinking beer in a small living room area on the first floor of the house. I drank one beer. Brett and [his friend] Mark [Judge] 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 restroom room,” she continued.
“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,” she said, growing more emotional as she proceeded.
Kavanaugh, she continued, forced her onto a bed, forcefully held her down while groping her and tried to remove her clothes before she was able to flee.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor hired by Republicans to question Ford and Kavanaugh, told Ford that the first thing that struck her about Ford’s opening statement is “that you’re terrified.”
Mitchell added: “I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry. That’s not right.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised Ford for coming forward, and said she was an inspiration to victims and survivors of sexual attacks across the US.
Under questioning from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ford said she was “100 percent” certain that it was Kavanaugh who attacked her.
Ford also told Feinstein she was sure it was Kavanaugh and not someone else who assaulted her.
Feinstein said: “So what you are telling us is this could not be a case of mistaken identity.”
“Absolutely not,” Ford responded.
Kavanaugh’s fate hung in the balance as the committee convened to hear from Ford, one of at least three women who have accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault or misconduct.
The committee — 11 Republicans, all men, and 10 Democrats — will also hear from Kavanaugh, who has vigorously denied Ford’s allegation.
Kavanaugh, who also faces allegations from two other women who will not testify Thursday, still has Trump’s support, though the president said Wednesday during a wide-ranging news conference that he could change his mind based on Ford’s testimony.
Tension was high at the Capitol as a phalanx of journalists and Capitol Hill cops gathered outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building awaiting the historic sitdown.
Republicans have slammed Ford’s allegation as part of a smear campaign and a scheme cooked up by Democrats to undermine Kavanaugh’s nomination.
But Democrats call California college professor Ford credible, and argue that her charges, though decades old, could disqualify Kavanaugh from a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.
Republicans chose Mitchell, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor, to question Ford out of concern over the optics of having elderly white GOP men grilling Ford, who appeared in a conservative blue suit and top and large-frame glasses.
Ford, pictured, in her 1984 yearbook photo claims she was assaulted by Kavanaugh when she was 15
Culled from New York Post
My view: Brett Kavanaugh appear angry and I don't get why he doesn't want the FBI to investigate. Hold Kavanaugh to the same standards that he held Clinton.