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Jamie Dupree @jamiedupree
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I'm in the room and getting set up
The view from the other side of the witness table. Right now, it's like early pre-boarding. Soon it will be elbow to elbow at the press table
Forgot the photo. Rookie.
Getting closer to start time at 10 am ET
GOP Senators all arrived together in the hearing room
Several Democrats are here who are not on the panel, like Sen Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY
The special counsel brought in by the GOP to question Dr Ford is at her own desk
My view of the witness table
Sen Grassley starts the hearing by lamenting the situation, and criticizing how Democrats handled the Ford complaint
Sen Grassley quoting Sen Biden from the 1991 Thomas-Hill hearings about the value of an FBI investigation
Sen Dianne Feinstein D-CA: "Good morning Dr. Ford" - Ford sitting with her lawyers listening to opening statements
Feinstein repeatedly name-checking Anita Hill in her opening comments
For my ham radio friends, I'm going SO2R today, with one audio feed in each ear, off by a few seconds
Ford now under oath
Ford's voice begins to get emotional, says the night was "seared into my memory," describes Kavanaugh as 'very inebriated.' "I believed he was going to rape me"
While Ford testifies, GOP Senators are listening closely, watching her every word.
In the audience, tears streaming down the face of Rep Carolyn Maloney D-NY as she listens to Ford
Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutorial expert from Arizona, is asking questions for the GOP at this point
Ford begins going through some of the details, saying her memory is cloudy on some issues. Now Sen Feinstein asking questions
By having an outside counsel ask the questions, the GOP is certainly trying to avoid some of the controversy that developed over how Republican Senators dealt with Anita Hill.
Ford says she is sure this is not a case of mistaken identity with regards to Brett Kavanaugh
Sen Leahy begins by registering complaints about how the GOP has handled the hearing and the investigation, praises Ford for coming forward
Ford says the classmate identified by Ed Whelan - as a possible assailant - was the boy who introduced her to Brett Kavanaugh
Ford says what she remembers most from the incident was the laughter of Kavanaugh and Judge, 'having fun at my expense'
Here is the video of that exchange with Sen Leahy
Ford describes running into Mark Judge at the Potomac Safeway about 6-8 weeks after the incident. Ford says Judge's face went white when she said hello.
15 minute break. Ford escorted into adjacent offices
The small size of the audience - and the room - makes it feel more like I'm covering a regular Senate hearing - but the details are anything but
GOP counsel goes over distance from Ford's home to her family's country club (Columbia), and where the party might have been. Ford does not recall how she got home that night
If you are joining us late, here is earlier testimony from Ford
GOP counsel presses Ford on whether she flew to DC. Ford says she did, but says she has a bad fear of flying, though she admits she has flown around the world
So far from Ford's testimony, the most striking line is her talking about the 'laughter' of Kavanaugh and Judge
Ford says her friends urged her to contact the Washington Post or the NY Times. She chose to send a note to Rep Anna Eshoo D-CA, her member of Congress
Asked again by the GOP counsel on who urged her to contact the news media, Ford says it was "beach friends"
Sen Chris Coons D-DE establishes that Ford started trying to get attention to her allegations before Kavanaugh was nominated
So far no GOP Senator has asked Ford a question - now the GOP counsel is on the time of Sen Ben Sasse R-NE, who is seated just above the counsel
Ford says she spoke with Sen Feinstein in early August, in a brief phone call, to discuss the details of her allegation
Ford says she was staying with her parents, and did not tell her parents. Says she made phone calls from her car and the Walgreens parking lot
30 minute break for lunch at 12:42 pm
I'm struck by two things so far - Ford talking about the laughter of the boys that has haunted her. And GOP Senators not asking questions.
In the hallways, Senators are running into the public
One difference from 1991 when I covered the Thomas-Hill hearings is the presence of social media. Both sides will be looking to capitalize on it.
The other interesting part is that this is a "local" story for DC, involving people from the immediate Maryland suburbs
When Ford talks about the Potomac Safeway, Columbia Country Club, and more, there's a lot of people who know those places and neighborhoods
The hearing resumes. Ford says she has no political reasons to raise the issue; says it was only because Kavanaugh was on a list of possible nominees
Sen Mazie Hirono D-HI: "Once again Dr Ford, thank you very much. This is a moment for our country. Mahalo"
GOP counsel presses on Ford's letter to Feinstein about Kavanaugh. Ford: "It was my understanding that it was going to be kept confidential, period"
We are down to only a few Senators left. If nothing changes, Ford's appearance should be over within the next 20 minutes or so.
Ford seems to be near tears as Sen Cory Booker D-NJ praises her by saying she is 'nothing short of heroic'
GOP counsel asks Ford about investigating her claims: "I would be happy to cooperate with the FBI, yes"
Ford listens to Sen Kamala Harris D-CA say, "I believe you"
Harris signals Democratic strategy saying Ford has asked for an FBI investigation, testimony from Mark Judge, etc., "Judge Kavanaugh has not"
This is the final GOP 5 minute session of Q&A
Ford makes clear Mark Judge would be a witness to talk to. "I would expect that he would remember that this happened."
Grassley says that Judge has submitted a statement denying that he knows anything about Ford's allegation of the Kavanaugh incident
Dr Ford's testimony is over. 45 minute break. Next is Judge Kavanaugh
Cameras are everywhere today judging by this IM that I just got
The lawyers for Dr Ford have stayed in the audience to watch Judge Kavanaugh's testimony. Ford is not here.
The room is very quiet. All Senators are here. Here comes Kavanaugh
Kavanaugh, with a note of anger in his voice: "my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed"
This is going to be a hell of an afternoon session
Kavanaugh: "This has destroyed my family and my good name, a good name built up through decades"
Kavanaugh says this has been a 'calculated and orchestrated political hit' - casts it as "revenge on behalf of the Clintons"
Kavanaugh's voice cracks as he mentions his parents and talks about his mother's work
Near tears, Kavanaugh has to pause as he tells Senators his daughters prayed for Dr Ford in recent days
Kavanaugh rattles off the names of local Catholic schools, and pointedly notes Ford did not attend one of those. "She and I did not travel in the same social circles"
Kavanaugh says his calendars show he could not have been at the party that Ford described in summer of 1982
Kavanaugh nears tears multiple times in this opening statement
Kavanaugh again near tears, as he apologizes for his yearbook references to one girl, "she was and is a great person"
Why did I make sure to get a seat in this hearing? Because this is a moment that reporters may witness only once.
While Dr Ford's lawyers are sitting right in front of me, Ford herself is not watching the Judge
Kavanaugh wraps his up his opening statement with a simple statement: "I am innocent of this charge"
Feinstein asks Kavanaugh about an FBI investigation - Kavanaugh's voice rises immediately, "My family has been destroyed by this, Senator"
Asked by GOP counsel about his drinking habits, Kavanaugh says he never 'passed out' from drinking, but "I've gone to sleep"
15 minute break.
It's very quiet in the room. Democratic Senators talking softly amongst themselves.
The hearing is back on, Kavanaugh now sparring with Sen Leahy, as Leahy asks about Mark Judge
After some sharp back and forth, Leahy: "We got a filibuster but not a single answer"
Leahy tried to ask if Mark Judge's book character "Bart O'Kavanaugh" was based on Kavanaugh's time in high school.
Kavanaugh now battling with Sen Dick Durbin D-IL: "I'm innocent"
Sen Lindsey Graham R-SC becomes the first GOP Senator to ask a question today
Graham yelling at Democrats across the dais: "This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics"
Republicans have given up on questions from the outside counsel, as now Sen John Cornyn R-TX compares this to the McCarthy hearings
Kavanaugh: "My life is totally and permanently altered"

Cornyn: "Judge, don't give up"
From inside the room here, the feeling in the room is electric. It reminds me of the feeling in the caucus room when Clarence Thomas was rejecting Anita Hill's charges.
As Sen Klobuchar asks Kavanaugh about drinking too much, he pushes back, asks Klobuchar if she's ever blacked out.

Kav: "I'm curious if you have"

Klob: "I have no drinking problem, Judge"

Kav: "Nor do I"
The hearing is back on - Kavanaugh starts by apologizing for his jab at Sen Klobuchar over drinking
Sen Orrin Hatch R-UT: "This is worse that Robert Bork...this is worse than Clarence Thomas"
Sen Chris Coons D-DE urges a delay for an FBI review.

Kavanaugh: "Do you know how long the last ten days have been?...Every day has been a lifetime"
If you missed the original Kavanaugh-Klobuchar exchange, here is the video. Kavanaugh later apologized for what happened at the end
Sen Ben Sasse R-NE circles back to Sen Feinstein not bringing up Ford charges in her meeting with Kavanaugh - probably a good signal for GOP leaders
Sen Richard Blumenthal D-CT asks about Kavanaugh's "revenge of the Clintons" line, but Kavanaugh didn't address that
Audible groans from some in the audience as Blumenthal tries to get in one last question: "Do you believe Anita Hill?"
Democrats in coming days/months/years seem likely to revisit Kavanaugh's opening statement, especially his "revenge of the Clintons" and a few other lines
For those asking, this should be done before 7 pm ET. But we'll see
A light hearted moment, as Kavanaugh mentions Yale Law, and Sen Mazie Hirono D-HI says she went to Georgetown Law
Sen Thom Tillis R-NC rallying behind Kavanaugh - this is another good sign for GOP unity behind the judge
Sen Cory Booker D-NJ to Kavanaugh: "I know you have a lot of political animus, you've stated it very clearly"
Sen Ted Cruz R-TX tells Kavanaugh this nomination fight has been "one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the US Senate"
Feinstein - after more salvos against her by Cruz - says she did not leak Ford's letter
Cornyn to Feinstein: Did your staff leak it?

Feinstein: The answer is no.

Cornyn: Somebody leaked it if it wasn't you.

Feinstein: I was asked to keep it confidential. "I did not."
Sen Kamala Harris D-CA asks if Judge Kavanaugh watched Dr Ford's testimony - like Clarence Thomas did not watch Anita Hill, Kavanaugh says he did not watch Ford
Sen John Kennedy R-LA asks Kavanaugh if the allegations of Ford, Ramirez, Swetnick - they are not true - "I swear to God"
And the hearing is over. Vote possible tomorrow morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee
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