Senate Judiciary Committee – Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh – September 27 2018

Summary

  • Dr Christine Blasey Ford offered emotional testimony about the alleged assault, saying, “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”
  • Dr Ford is “100%” certain it was Kavanaugh
  • Dr Ford remembered “The laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense,” in reference to the attack by Kavanaugh, witnessed by his friend Mark Judge
  • Kavanaugh was defiant in his testimony
  • Kavanaugh said that the confirmation process has become a “national disgrace”
  • Kavanaugh repeatedly responded to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (Dem.) questions by asking her about her drinking
  • The nominee repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether he would ask for or support an FBI investigation into Dr Ford’s allegations
  • Kavanaugh called the allegations from the third accuser, Julie Swetnick, a “joke” and a “farce”
  • The Senate judiciary committee plans to hold a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Friday morning
  • Donald Trump praised Kavanaugh’s testimony as “powerful” and “honest” and did not offer any comment on Dr Ford’s testimony

The key moments:

1009 Senate judiciary committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (Rep.) brings the session to order. He thanks Kavanaugh and Ford for appearing before the committee.

He says that both “they and their families have received vile threats” which are “unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy.”

“I want to apologize to both of you for the treatment you’ve received”

1031 Ranking Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Dem.) talked about the historic parallels between Republican’s treatment of Dr Ford and that of Professor Anita Hill in 1991.

“In 1991 Republicans belittled Anita Hill’s experience… the burden of proof was on Prof Hill. Today our Republican colleagues are declaring, ‘This is a hiccup’.”

She adds that some Republicans have already indicated they will vote to confirm Kavanaugh without hearing a word from Dr Ford.

“The Senate will plough right through and ensure Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed.”

1036 Christine Blasey Ford says:

“I am here today not because I want to be. 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,”

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, Christine Blasey Ford

1040 Ford continues:

“Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.”

Christine Blasey Ford testimony against Brett Kavanaugh - I believed he was going to rape me. APT

1108 Sen. Feinstein (Dem.) asks Ford:

“This could not be a case of mistaken identity?”

Ford responds:

“Absolutely not,”

1117 Sen. Patrick Leahy (Dem.) asks Ford:

“What is the “strongest memory” of the incident?”

Ford responds:

“The laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense”

1131 Sen. Dick Durbin (Dem.) asks Ford:

“With what degree of certainty to believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?”

Ford replies:

“100%”

1518 Judge Brett Kavanaugh begins his opening remarks, saying his reputation has been “totally and permanently destroyed”.

Kavanaugh says:

“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace… you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.”

1524 Kavanaugh continuing his opening remarks says:

“This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of public service.”

He says the allegations are part of a “calculated political hit”, that “the consequences will be felt for decades,” and “What goes around comes around.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh - Calculated political hit

Kavanaugh then adds:

“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process.”

“You may defeat me in the final vote. But you’ll never defeat me ever… I’m here to tell the truth, I have never sexually assaulted anyone.”

1550 Kavanaugh continuing her opening remarks says:

“There is a bright line between drinking beer – which I gladly do and fully embrace, and sexual assault. I never committed sexual assault.”

“As high school students we sometimes did goofy and stupid things.”

And talking about his high school yearbook:

“This past week, my friends and I have cringed when we read about it and talked to each other.”

1558 Concluding his opening remarks, Kavanaugh says:

“We live in a country devoted to due process and the rule of law. That means taking allegations seriously. But if an allegation … from 36 years ago, is enough to destroy a person’s career we will have abandoned … due process.”

“My family and I intend no ill will to Dr Ford and her family. I swear before the nation and God I am innocent of this charge.”

1609 Sen. Feinstein (Dem.) presses Kavanaugh about not submitting to an interview with the FBI. He interrupts and says:

“You’re interviewing me. There’s no conclusions reached.”

He then instantly denies allegations made against him by three women: Ford, Ramierz and Swetnik.

He labels Swetnik’s allegations as “a joke. It’s a farce.” And declines to elaborate.

1653 Sen. Lindsey Graham (Rep.) launches into an extraordinary tirade, calling the hearing

“The most despicable thing I’ve ever seen in politics.”

Graham then concludes with:

“I would never to do to them what you’ve done to this guy. I hope the American people see through this sham. When it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process, you’ve come to the wrong place.”

Lindsay Graham at hearing of Ford Kavanaugh - I would never do them what they've done to this guy. APT

1713 Kavanaugh repeatedly responded to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (Dem) questions by asking her about her drinking

1741 Sen. Chris Coons (Dem.), asked Kavanaugh:

“Whether you’ve ever gotten aggressive while drinking or forgotten an evening after drinking.”

In response, Kavanaugh states:

“The answer to that is basically no. I don’t really know what you mean by that. What are you talking about? No, is the basic answer unless you’re talking about something that I’m not aware of.”

1746 President Donald Trump tweets:

1836 Sen. Ted Cruz (Rep.) states:

“This has been one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the United States Senate. Watching your mother’s pained face has been heart-wrenching as she’s seen her son’s character dragged through the mud… The American people can set aside the partisan warfare of Washington and look toward substance and facts… I do not believe Senate Democrats have treated you with respect…”

1842 Sen. Kamala Harris (Dem.) Harris asked Kavanaugh:

“Are you willing to ask the WH to authorize the FBI to investigate the claims that have been made against you?”

Kavanaugh responded with:

“The witness testimony is before you. No witness who was there supports that I was there.”

Harris responds to Kavanaugh stating:

“I’m going to take that as a ‘no’ and we can move on.”

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