(Update: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday afternoon voted along party lines to approve the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., voted for the nomination but called for an FBI investigation of the accusations against Kavanaugh before the full Senate votes on the nomination. At the committee’s request, President Donald Trump on Friday ordered an FBI investigation into any “current credible” sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh, to be completed within one week.)
In an extraordinary day on Capitol Hill, senators heard anguished testimony on Thursday from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.
In an excruciating and explosive hearing that lasted more than eight hours, Ford and Kavanaugh each offered testimony and answered questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Ford’s accusations.
By the end of the day, the picture remained as divided as it was at the beginning: Ford testified she was 100 percent sure Kavanaugh assaulted her. Kavanaugh testified he was 100 percent sure he didn’t attack Ford or any other woman.
Both appeared sincere and heartbroken.
In such a difficult conundrum, perhaps the only way to parse through the situation is to examine evidence. While Ford offered compelling testimony during her portion of the hearing, she did not provide corroborating evidence, and the firsthand witnesses she cited haven't backed up her claims. Kavanaugh noted that other people Ford has claimed were at a party where she says an attack took place have said they don’t remember such a gathering.
Ford described an attack in the summer of 1982 at a gathering with friends. She said Kavanaugh jumped on top of her in a bedroom and tried to remove her clothing, while another classmate, Mike Judge, looked on. Judge has said he doesn’t recall such an incident.
Ford said she does remember the event, and she described “uproarious laughter” between the two boys as an indelible memory. She said the attack had caused lifelong struggles with anxiety and trauma.