The testimonies of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee were marked by sadness, anger, and contention.
Ford’s voice cracked as asserted that she was “100%” sure that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, while Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations with palpable anger. His nomination now hangs in the balance.
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“I am here today not because I want to be,” Ford started her testimony. “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.”
This is the panel Ford faced while recounting her story under threat of perjury.
Ford said she is “100%” certain that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and that it could not be a case of mistaken identity.
Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying to the committee.
Republican Senators Orin Hatch and Chuck Grassley listened as Brett Kavanaugh testified, but did not question him. They hired a female expert prosecutor to do so on their behalf.
Kavanaugh became visibly angry during his testimony as he vehemently denied the allegations and mourned his loss of social standing due to the claims.
Kavanaugh maintained his innocence and said the process surrounding his nomination was a “national disgrace.” He said the allegations “totally and permanently destroyed” him and his family.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham launched a fiery tirade at Democrats and characterised their handling of allegations against Kavanaugh as an “unethical sham.”
His comments rallied Republicans.
Republicans brought in sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to question Blasey Ford to avoid the optics of having a male senator conduct the questioning.
But the optics of having a woman employed by them sitting below them also draw criticism and comments about the senate’s gender politics.
Trump allies appeared displeased at Mitchell’s questioning.
Kavanaugh’s friends and family were supporting him from the front row during his testimony, though this photo went viral due to the troubles expressions on the women’s faces.
Many saw it as a wider symbol of how women were reacting to Kavanaugh’s alleged actions and the visible emotion that Blasey Ford displayed during her testimony. But those sat behind him are actually friends, family, and allies.
Ford was embraced by her legal team and her relief was palpable when she finished her testimony.
But there were many emotional moments for Ford during the hearing.
Mitchell apologised for Ford’s fear.
“The first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you’re terrified. I just wanted to let you know I am very sorry. That’s not right,” Mitchell said.
Kavanaugh was also visibly upset throughout the hearing.
He choked up at points, especially as he discussed the effects of the events on his young daughters.
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