Senate panel says it will vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh nomination

Adjust Comment Print

The lawyers representing Christine Blasey Ford clarified Thursday that they paid for the polygraph test she took regarding her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh - after she initially testified she wasn't sure who did.

A number of Democratic senators also applauded Ford for coming forward with her allegation as it became clear in July that Kavanaugh was on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court shortlist-with Sen.

Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, requested to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation vote because of allegations against him from a then-anonymous woman.

Meanwhile, as veteran sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell served as a stand-in for the 11 male Republican senators on the committee and questioned Ford about the details of her allegations and why she came forward, many observers noted that Ford appeared unflustered as Mitchell attempted to poke holes in her story.

Hogue said Kavanaugh's role in the Bush White House and his position on Roe v. Wade also disqualifies him - but added that Ford's testimony shows that he "is absolutely unfit to sit on any federal bench". "Just basic memory functions". She told the committee that she wished she could provide more detailed answers to questions, but said said she does not remember as much as she would "like to".

Kavanaugh, 53, has strenuously denied assaulting anyone and insists he is the victim of a "smear campaign".

During her opening remarks on Thursday, Ford said she was "terrified" to be there but felt it was her "civic duty".

Julie Swetnick's allegations bring attention to story about Mark Judge, Kavanaugh
Swetnick, 55, who lives in Washington, D.C., said she graduated from Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. The woman, Julie Swetnick , said that she was the victim of one of these gang rapes in approximately 1982.

Kavanaugh, she added, proceeded to jump on top of her, and when she yelled for help, "Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming". Knowing what she was going to say and hearing her speak it, in a quiet, sometimes faltering voice, are two very different things, however. Aides said they thought Kavanaugh was effectively fighting back and expressed optimism he could survive the process.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations and says he never sexually assaulted anyone. Asked if there were enough votes to confirm Kavanaugh, he said, "Depends on what happens tomorrow".

As if in response to those concerns, Kavanaugh on Thursday seemed to offer a more nuanced portrait of his high school years, at several points admitting that he enjoyed the odd drink or two. "I like beer", he said, but he also said he'd never passed out and never attacked Ford. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that her certainty was "100 percent".

Heitkamp stressed that a nonpartisan FBI investigation should be conducted to "bring greater clarity" to Ford's claim and Kavanaugh's denial.

Collins, another Republican supporter of abortion rights, is considered the other Republican swing voter in the Senate. He did not ask questions of either Ford or Kavanaugh during the hearing. "They ought to take whatever time it takes to make sure these accusers are heard and he has a chance to respond to them".

"The Democrats are playing this game that's disgraceful", Trump said on Wednesday.

An analysis of social media sentiment conducted by the Ipsos polling firm using an artificial intelligence prototype found that positive sentiment directed toward Ford increased each time she spoke, said pollster Chris Jackson.