- Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him sexual assault, went before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday where they each delivered passionate testimonies about the alleged incident.
- The hearing were, by turns, emotional, contentious, and dramatic. As the hearings adjourned at the end of the day, Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was left hanging in the balance.
Here are six takeaways from the hearings:
- Ford maintained that she is 100% certain that Kavanaugh was the person who assaulted her at a gathering while the two were high school students in Maryland in the 1980s. Ford said the experience has haunted her for years. Her voice cracked as she described to senators how Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, at the gathering, groped her, and held his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream. However, Ford was unable to provide some key details about the night the alleged assault happened.
- Kavanaugh became visibly angry during his opening statement as he vehemently denied Ford’s allegations. He repeatedly lamented that the claims had destroyed his reputation, and offered as evidence a detailed calendar he said shows that he couldn’t have been at the party. The Supreme Court nominee expressed sympathy for Ford‘s experience while reiterating his denials of sexual impropriety.
- Senators took Kavanaugh to task on his drinking in high school and college. Kavanaugh admitted to the behaviour, but seemed to snipe at Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota when she asked if he had ever drank to the point where he would forget things. Kavanaugh denied that and turned the question back to Klobuchar, asking her if she had ever “blacked out” herself. Kavanaugh’s snipe sparked some reaction because Klobuchar has spoken publicly in the past about her father’s alcoholism. Kavanaugh later apologised to the senator.
- Kavanaugh sparred with Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island about his school yearbook. His 1983 Georgetown Prep yearbook revealed his love of drinking, sports, and partying. At one point, Kavanaugh was forced to explain references to beer and flatulence.
- Among all of the Republican lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appeared to be the most outraged. The Republican Senator from South Carolina assured Kavanaugh that he was on his side and that he had. “nothing to apologise” for as he sounded off on partisan efforts to “ruin this guy’s life.” Graham called Thursday’s hearing overly political and joined other Republican senators – and Kavanaugh himself – in accusing Democrats of acting in bad faith concerning how they handled Ford. Democratic lawmakers on the committee fiercely denied acting inappropriately and accused Republicans of neglecting their duties just to get Kavanaugh confirmed.
- Ultimately, Ford received praise for her testimony. Some observers, including Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, said Ford looked “extremely credible,” adding, “this could be a disaster for the Republicans.”
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