Ford tells senators she’s sure it was Kavanaugh
by Harvest Prude
Posted 9/27/18, 01:47 pm
For the first time, lawmakers and the public heard from professor Christine Blasey Ford in a televised hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, gave her opening statement with emotion.
In her testimony and response to questions, she ruled out the possibility that someone other than Kavanaugh could have been the person who allegedly assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s. In response to a question from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., she said she felt “100 percent” certain Kavanaugh was the one who assaulted her.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked what Ford remembered most about the attack. She said she recalled Kavanaugh and his classmate Mark Judge laughing: “The uproarious laughter between the two … having fun at my expense.”
Republican committee members yielded their questioning time to prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who sought to nail down the facts, but the awkward hearing format hampered her questions. Mitchell received five-minute time increments between direct questioning by Democratic committee members.
Throughout the hearing, senators fired shots across the aisle in an attempt to assign blame for the way in which the accusation became public. Ford explained she initially hoped to get her information to senators while Kavanaugh was still on the short list of potential nominees, during which time she contacted Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who represented Ford’s district.
Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, lamented the “11th hour” reveal, calling it a “shameful way” to treat Ford’s confidentiality request. Grassley also blamed Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for not coming forward sooner. With their time, Democratic senators fired back at Republicans for not calling for an FBI investigation. They also criticized Republicans for not subpoenaing Judge or other witnesses.
Kavanaugh will give his opening statement and be questioned in the same manner as Ford after her testimony is completed. Thursday’s hearing time is devoted only to Ford’s accusation and is not supposed to cover accusations made by two other women on his behavior while in high school and in college.
Meanwhile, protesters flocked to the Capitol, staging chants on various floors. Only staff or a slim list of pre-approved guests were allowed in the hearing room or even on the second floor of the Dirksen Senate building during the hearing.
At a news conference in New York Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump continued to push back on the accusations. When asked by reporters if he thinks “all three of those women are liars?” Trump said, “these are all false accusations to me … in certain cases.” He allowed for the possibility that he could be persuaded to the contrary.
Editor’s note: Read Harvest Prude’s report on Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.