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Jennifer Taub @jentaub
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Gavel. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has begun. 10:04 am ET

Christine Blassey-Ford looks poised but understandably very stressed.

Sen. Grassley is scolding in a gravelly voice, using his opening remarks to complain about process. He's implicitly questioning her credibility saying there wasn't a "whiff of any issue in any way" re "inappropriate sexual behavior" from earlier FBI background investigation

This lecture on "proper process and procedure" is a complete sham. Reopening an FBI investigation is the only way to gather the facts here. He is is saying this is part of preventing his nomination "by any means necessary."

Citing Joe Biden as an examplar of how to conduct a hearing regarding sexual harassment is a mistake. That was a shameful moment in Biden's history.

Maybe Senator Grassley should have used his "Lady Assistant" to give his opening remarks. He is not being respectful at all in his content or his tone. I am flabbergasted. This is worse already than I had imagined.

Senator Grassley recognizes "other allegations." Now he's complaining about other lawyers for the other accusers. He complains they are stonewalling. No, they are not stonewalling, they want an FBI investigation. Because your investigation is a sham.

Now it's Senator Feinstein's opportunity to speak. She is explaining how she first learned of Christine Blasey-Fords' letter. She explains "How women are treated in the United States . . is really wanting a lot of reform."

Senator Feinstein welcomes and introduces Dr. Blasey-Ford, listing her credentials. Before she can do so, Senator Grassley interrupts, complaining that he planned to introduce her before she began her remarks. That is telling. It was rude not to introduce her at the opening

Now, Senator Feinstein focuses on what we are hear to talk about -- sexual assault, and why teens do not report what happened to them until many decades later. She compared the "Me-Too" era to the "Year of the Woman" from 27 years ago (post-Thomas hearings).

Feinstein describes how woman survivors are re-victimized. She recounted what happened to Anita Hill 27 years ago. She makes clear that Dr. Ford as a teenager she was attacked and feared for her life.
Feinstein said within 36 hours after Ford came forward, the Republicans scheduled hearing without first consulting Ford. She also notes that the routine step of asking FBI to conduct an inpartial investigation was refused by Republicans. FBI did investigate Hill complaints

Feinstein noted the numerous witnesses that were called at the Thomas hearings 27 years ago. Says Mark Ford should be called. "What I find most inexcusable is this rush to judgment." Failure to take these accusations "at face value"

Feinstein uses words Rs have expressed to show that they do not take her accusations seriously. The desire to "plow right through" (McConnell) and the we'll "listen to the lady" and the scheduling of the committee vote for Friday shows they don't care about Ford testimony

Now Feinstein is bringing up the other three woman who have evidence (and witnesses) to corroborate their accounts and have asked for the FBI to investigate.

Feinstein turns to Kavanaugh's claim that he didn't drink to excess.She quotes Roche, his college roommate who recalled he was often incoherently drunk. Others at Yale said "he's trying to paint himself as some kind of choir boy-you can't lie your way onto Supreme Court"

Grassley scolds Feinstein for mentioning the other accusers. Now he swears her and says she can get a break when she wants. "Let us know if there's any issues. Proceed please."

Dr. Ford speaks. She has a lovely voice. Now she requests some caffeine at some point.

"I am hear to today not because I want to be. I am terrified." Her voice shakes. She thinks it is her civic duty.

She was friends her high school freshman and sophomore year with a friend of Brett Kavanaugh's. That's how she met Kavanaugh at several house parties. She had been diving that day. Then she went to the house party. She said it was probably a spur of the moment gathering

Details that she does remember "have been seared into my memory and have haunted me" even as an adult. She saw Brett and Mark there and they were visibly drunk. She went up stairs. She was pushed into the bedroom. She did not see who pushed her.

When Brett assaulted her, she said, she tried to yell for help. She said he tried to take off her clothes. "I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help." Brett put his hand over her mouth. She thought he was accidentally going to kill her. They laughed

She is trying to get through reading her written testimony, but her voice is shaking.

Now Dr. Ford explains why she did not tell her parents at the time. It took until 2012 during couple's counseling when the details came up. She shared his name with her therapist and husband.

She explained how she would try to push down the memory, but this caused reliving the trauma. Sometimes she confided in close friends. At times she said it was a prominent judge, but did not mention his name to them. Until July 2018, she had not named him outside of therpay

Whenever she says the words "civic duty" she cries. She clearly did not want to come forward. "I felt that I couldn't not do it" meaning coming forward after hearing that he was on the short-list to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

Dr. Ford had reached out to her congresswoman when he was on the short list, and then the congresswoman got back to her after he became the nominee. Then information was forwarded confidentially to Senator Feinstein.

Dr. Ford said she "struggled with a terrible choice." Does she put her family in the spotlight or does she spare them and allow decision to be made by Senate without information. It was "sense of duty"always there. But her fears of consequences of speaking out increased.

But then news of the letter leaked out. Reporters were hounding her even approaching her when she was meeting with her grad students. She understood her name would be released to media. So she spoke with a Washington Post reporter she trusted.

"My greatest fears have been realized" and what she is experiencing is worse that what she anticipated since the Sept. 16th Washington Post story. She and her family were forced to move out of their home.

"I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. . . I am an independent person. I am no ones pawn." She said, "my responsibility is to tell you the truth."

She also said she wishes to engage directly with the Senators. She said she has never been questioned by a prosecutor. She asked for caffeine. They are bringing her a coke.

They brought her a coffee. Now Rachel Mitchell is beginning her questions. She said "I'm very sorry" that she is terrified. She is setting forth some guidelines.

Attorney Mitchell is asking Dr. Ford to look at some What's App texts between her and some Washington Post. Now she's asking her about the accuracy July 30th letter and timing. Good that her lawyer is telling her to take her time in reading the letter.

Dr. Ford uses a pencil to mark up the letter. She is addressing the number of people at the gathering. Says could have been more than four at the party. Also, she said she is not sure who pushed her from behind.

Now it is Feinstein's turn to ask questions. She begins by putting letters in the record. These are 140 letters from friends and neighbors and from 1,000 female physicians. She thanks Dr. Ford for her testimony.

Dr. Ford describes the claustrophobia that has lasted. Thus the second front door on the home. She also struggled when she first got to UNC Chapel Hill. Academic problems.

She tried to come forward when there were many candidates. Dr. Ford said that once Kavanaugh was selected, she was "calculating daily the risk-benefit for me coming forward, wondering whether I was just jumping in front of a train" and "I would be personally annihilated."

She faced mounting pressure from the press. Journalists calling her Stanford colleagues. Journalist she thought was a grad student came to her class. Journalists knew her address.

Feinstein asks her how she knows it was him. She gave us a lesson in how brain chemistry operates. She said she knew it was him, just like she knew she was speaking to Senator Feinstein right now. "Basic memory function." Role of Norepinephrine helping encode memories

Now we are back to the attorney hired by the Republicans. She is asking about that day, instead of returning to the July 30th letter.

Attorney Mitchell asks whether Dr. Ford had been drinking or taking medication before she went to the party. Dr. Ford said no. Also asks about the gathering. Said it was clear that Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh had been drinking heavily before they arrived.

She recalls that it was a gathering that she thought would lead to a party later on. Sparsely-furnished living room. Not loud. No stero downstairs.

Grassley cuts off attorney Mitchell. It's Leahy's turn to speak. He just said to Grassley, "Senate failed Anita Hill." He said he believed her. He said we're failing these 3 women. "There are millions of victims and survivors out there who have been inspired her courage"

Senator Leahy thanks her, saying bravery is contagious. We also learned for the first time that the "doppelganger" person wrote a letter to the Senate committee saying it was not him. Leahy enters that letter into the record.

Ford said: "Indelible the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter." Them laughing with each other at her expense. "Two friends having a very good time with each other."

Senator Leahy did a beautiful job. He adds to records records about lapses in memory for trauma victims.

Now attorney Mitchell is back to asking questions for the Republican senators. She is asking whether she was contacted by anyone from party. She said she had spoken with Leland.

Attorney Mitchell now is showing a map of the her neighborhood. I am hearing a Senator (I think Harris) wants to see the map. Grassley complains that he was "rudely interrupted."

Now it's Senator Durbin's turn to speak. First he enters into the record more letters of support for Dr. Blasey Ford. These include from graduates of Holton-Arms, also Yale Law faculty who want an FBI investigation.

Senator Durbin continues by thanking Dr. Ford for having the courage to come forward. He says, "Mark Judge should be subpoenaed from his Bethany-beach-hideaway" but he hasn't. Says there should be a "thorough FBI investigation" and Grassley should demand it.

He said that Mitchell, the attorney for the Republicans, will be trying to test her memory, but "a polished liar can create a seamless story, but a trauma victim" cannot recall every detail.

When asked by Senator Durbin what degree of certainty does Dr. Judge have that it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her. She said "One-hundred percent,"

Now Grassley scolded Senator Durbin: "I cannot let it go by . .between July 30 and September 13" this committee could have been investigating this. Said the committee could have been told. He slips up by saying the "whole world". Apparently Grassley did not listen at all.

Now there is a break. Commentators (I'm watching MSNBC). Mimi Rocah says she's ashamed, as a prosecutor, that Mitchell is doing this. She is trying to put Ford on trial for interrupting his appointment.

Break over. 11:47 pm ET

Now attorney Mitchell (for the Republicans) is showing a big map and also drew a one-mile radius around country club. Senator Harris chimes in and said she does not have these documents and wants to see all three.

Mitchell asked did anyone told her they were the one who drove her home. Dr. Ford said no. Mitchell is trying to pick apart insignificant details about not having always said it was summer of 1982. Dr. Ford said if she knew when Mark Judge worked at Safeway, it would help

Attorney Rachel Mitchell is asking about the therapist's notes. Asks whether the Washington Post saw those. Again, picking apart small details about 4 people vs. 4 boys at event.

This constant return to Mitchell's nitpicking is not helping Kavanaugh. Whitehouse is now speaking. Says Dr. Ford is credible with "vivid, specific and detailed recollections" that are "consistent with known facts." She's made prior consistent statements & took polygraph

Whitehouse says there should be a thorough investigation. He said when "new credible, derogatory information was brought forward about nominee or candidate" said an FBI investigation is always reopened. Thinks this is a "grave disservice" to her.

On point. Senator Whitehouse blames 13 men for breaking historical precedent of not reopening FBI investigation. The president, the 11 male senate republicans on the judiciary committee and FBI director Chris Wray. (Note, Wray went to Yale when I was there, so in Kav's era)

Now Grassley is scolding again, still entirely ignoring the fact that his committee staff are NOT the same thing as the FBI. As he drones on and on, he is not helping show fairness. It's the FBI, senator.

Now Senator Klobuchar chimes in that in the Clarence Thomas situation President George H.W. Bush asked for the investigation to be opened again.

Okay, back to Attorney Rachel Mitchell. Remember, these questions come from the Republican senators. Mitchell gets Ford to agree that the therapist did not put Kavanaugh's name in the notes.

Mitchell asks whether other things contributed to the anxiety and PTSD. Dr. Ford draws on her expertise saying that these conditions are "multi-factorial" and that we all have biological predispositions to anxiety etc.

In response to the question of whether this was the sexual assault to which she referred when she initially told her husband. She said yes. She also said she did not at that time tell him Kavanaugh's name. Was not until therapy.

Now Mitchell is asking whether Dr. Ford travels by plane. She does occasionally. Now she's pointing to Ford's resume to show she has traveled by air.

Senator Amy Klobuchar thanks Dr. Ford and asks about the polygraph test. Her attorneys asked her to take test. She said, "it was almost as anxiety-provoking as an airplane flight.

Dr. Ford said her medical records show she told her individual therapist in 2013 about the assault. And also talked about it in the couple's therapy in 2012. Said that she talked about it more than that, but not reflected in records.

Dr. Ford hesitated to come forward because she did not want to suffer for no reason. Sen Klobuchar asks what she does not forget. The living room, the stairwell, the bed to the right of the room, bathroom, the "uproarious laughter" and the multiple attempts to escape

Senator Klobuchar wants to put the polygraph results in the record. Grassley hesitated. Dr. Ford's lawyer provided the report, not all of the graphs because Grassley refused to let the polygraph examiner to testify

Senator Grassey permitted the report to be admitted to the record, but still said he wanted the full documents. Klobacher again raised not calling polygraph expert or Mark Judge. Grassley responded sharply: "You got what you wanted; I think you'd be satisfied."

Mitchell is asking questions again, this time on behalf of Senator Cruz. Asks why she contacted Washington Post on July 6. She said people on the beach were giving her advice, telling her to hire a lawyer. She didn't right away. Others say to call paper. Go to congress.

Ford called her congresswoman and put in an anonymous tip to the Washington Post, "Unfortunately, no one got back to me" before the nomination was announced. She also told the receptionist at congresswoman's office on phone

Ford told Mitchell she used the encrypted app and off the record she spoke with Emma Brown at WaPo. Brown wrote the story on September 16. Ford said Wednesday July 18 she met with staff and on the Friday she met with Congresswoman. Described night, fears re confidentiality

Sen. Coons thanks Dr. Ford. Follows up on attorney Mitchell's line of questioning (that came from Cruz). Said she was motivated by "civic duty' and hope another candidate might be picked. Not a late-stage motivation. Wanted to get info to you but didn't know how.

Dr. Ford describes how the sexual assault impacted her. Initial stages were the worst. "Disastrous" first two years of college. Learned to cope. etc. The younger you are can impact you more, perhaps, before your brain has developed better coping skills.

Dr. Ford said she was in a "fight or flight" mode. It was the surge of cortisol and norepinephrine helped her get the strength to escape.

Now attorney Rachel Mitchell is asking questions for Senator Ben Sasse. Let me now say the Republicans on the committee look like HUGE COWARDS. Hiding behind an attorney, not brave enough to pose their own questions.

We are now back to attorney Mitchell asking about the July 30th letter that Dr. Ford sent to Senator Feinstein. She wrote this on her own. Had a phone call before August 7, while in Delaware and spoke on one occasion with Feinstein. Ford answered questions about incident

Mitchell asked whether between writing letter and speaking with Feinstein on Aug. 7 whether she spoke with anyone. Aside from lawyers didn't with anyone about it. She was staying with parents. When asked if she discussed this with her parents she said: "Definitely not"

Sen. Blumenthal said "I found your testimony powerful and credible." Said "you have given America an amazing teaching moment." Said, "You have inspired and enlightened America." She has "given courage to women to come forward as they have done to everyone of our offices"

Blumenthal Also "you have inspired men" to listen respectfully to women and also to male survivors. Said he believes her because she has encouraged them to invite other witnesses has been honest about what she cannot remember.

Blumenthal: "senators on the other side of the aisle have been silent." Now he's quoting a book by Sen Graham in which he described his prosecutions of rape cases "unexpedted courage . . .for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant."

"You have earned America's gratitude" Blumenthal told her. Ford begins to cry and mouths "thank you."

Blumenthal said it's up to the president to reopen the FBI investigation. He called failure to do so is equivalent to a "coverup."

Attorney Mitchell is now back to fronting questions for Senator Sasse. Ford has never taken a polygraph before. Mitchell asked why polygraph was in location it was. He came to her on the day she attended her grandmother's funeral or the day after.

Disgusting. Michell is asking whether Ford was coached or study tips or advice on how to take a polygraph test. Doesn't know who paid for the polygraph test. No one assisted her in writing out the statement as part of test. Said she was anxious.

Mitchell asked whether Ford was audio and videotaped. What Ford remembers is being hooked up to a machine and being asked a lot of questions and crying a lot. She was at a hotel conference room. He had a computer set up. Doesn't know for sure if she was recorded.

Lunch recess now. Senators need to go to a vote. Half hour break.

So far:

1. The Republican Senators seem very cowardly, hiring Attorney Rachel Mitchell front their nit-picking questions;

2. Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford is highly credible. She is honest about her memory gaps after so much time, and also certain about indelible aspects

3. The mistaken-identity defense is a non-starter. Dr. Ford believably state she is 100 percent confidant that Brett Kavanaugh was boy who assaulted her

4. Sen. Grassley as the only Republican speaking (other than attorney avatar) comes across as rough and disingenuous

5. There is absolutely NO CREDIBLE REASON why President Trump has not asked the FBI to reopen the background check;

6. It's a LIE that Grassley (or McConnell) has no control over President Trump calls to reopen FBI check. Republicans could just refuse to have hearing

7. Blasey-Ford is so incredibly brave and was sensible this summer to be "calculating daily the risk-benefit for me coming forward, wondering whether I was just jumping in front of a train" and "I would be personally annihilated."

8. Seems like there are three more Democratic senators to ask questions of Blasey-Ford (Hirono, Booker and Harris). Seems like there are four more times that Attorney Rachel Mitchell will ask questions for the remaining Republican senators who are in hiding.

9. Holy Moly! Lindsay Graham cornered in the Senate basement, just said he can only deal with what's in front of him. Does not find Blasey-Ford credible because she cannot name the date and time;

10. Senator Graham is a NOT CREDIBLE. He does not want the full information.

Okay, folks are gathering back in the small hearing room. We should be starting up the Senate Judiciary Committee Kavanaugh hearing again soon.

Gaveled back in. Senator Hirano is questioning why the prosecutor is asking questions about before and after, but not during the attack. She said survivors don't often remember those details.

Sen. Hirano reminds us that this is a confirmation proceeding, not a criminal proceeding. She said there was no political motivation. She thanks Ford for coming forward to share her traumatic experience so we can know more about the character of this candidate.

Hirano suggest we need to face questions of character for people we place in high office. "You're not alone." Said human decency has been driven from our public life. She is giving a speech condemning Donald Trump for standing behind a man accused of a terrible act.

Hirano reads from National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.This is something admitted into record.She added six items herself with Grassley's permission. Reading gives Ford a breather from having to ask question. Ends with "Maholo." Ford mouths back "Maholo."

Now Attorney Mitchell is questioning Ford on who is paying for polygraph. One of the attorneys spoke into the mic and said she'd end the mystery, that the attys paid which is routine. But Mitchell kept asking. Ford is not sure whether she will end up paying them back.

Now Ford mentions that there have been go fund me efforts to raise money. Mitchell does not seem to know what that is. Good job @HeidiLiFeldman for raising funds. Ford has been busy, has not figured out how to use funds yet. Lots of paperwork

Now an argument between her counsel and Mitchell. At the outset Mitchell instructed Blasey-Ford not to guess, but now she is asking her to speculate whether it was "possible" that someone spoke with a member of congress on her behalf. She doesn't know.

It seems to me that during the break someone told attorney Rachel Mitchell to get tougher. But, the problem is tougher is not a good style for Mitchell. She is coming across as an impatient bully now for the Republicans on the committee.

Senator Booker is now addressing Dr. Blasey-Ford. He is reminding us of her bravery in the face of death threats. He also highlights the importance of the Constitutional role of the Senate to provide advice and consent in nominating and appointing Supreme Court justices.

Good for Senator Booker. He is the first person to ask her how her children and husband are doing. She said they are doing good considering the situation and thanked him. She said they have a supportive community.

This speech by Booker is not grandstanding. They are giving her a breather. Imagine being in the spotlight for hours. She started out needing coffee. This is a huge relief for a witness.

Booker asks how she feels that they have not called in FBI. Dr. Ford responded "I wish I could be more helpful" and others would be more helpful "and we could collaborate" together to get more information. Booker now asks to admit letters and the ad from 1,600 men etc.

Now Attorney Mitchell is asking questions. She is asking how she found her attorneys. "Did anybody besides friends and family refer you to any attorneys." She said Diane Feinstein's office referred her to some attorneys, but not both of them.

In response to Mitchell's question as to whether Ford would submit to an interview, Ford said "I would be happy to cooperate with the FBI." So she would "absolutely" submit to an interview by staff of the judiciary committee

On behalf of an R senator, Mitchell asked Ford whether she was getting assistance paying her legal fees (beyond go fund me). She said she didn't know. Her attorney stepped in and said: "Both of her counsel are doing this pro bono and we have no expectation of being paid."

Dr. Ford is showing tremendous respect for the person Ed Whalen tried to frame for the sexual assault. She does not want to use his name. She went out with for a few months. (The language people used then to describe dating). This was a common link between her and Kav

Mitchell asks for all the interactions she had with Kavanaugh. Ford names other parties. She asked "did anything happen at these events". She said "there was no sexual assault".

Senator Kamala Harris: "You know you are not on trial. You are sitting her before members of the United States Senate judiciary committee because you had the courage to come forward because you said it was your civic duty."

Harris finds striking that she told her therapist and husband years ago, and friends years ago before these hearings started. "Trauma, shame and the fear of consequences . . .causes survivors to delay reporting if they ever report this at all." You have passed polygraph

Sen. Harris draws stark contrast between Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh in that only she has passed polygraph, wants witnesses to testify, wants FBI investigation. She also calls out the Rs on committee that the FBI doesn't make conclusions.

Harris says FBI could have interviewed Mark Judge, her, Kavanaugh and other witnesses. They could have examined the maps that Mitchell presented (who stands in for republicans on committee).

Senator Harris did not come to play. .She is quoting from the handbook that applies to Attorney Mitchell's Maricopa County, Arizona office calling for witnesses and investigation. This is a needed shaming that Mitchell is participating in this sham hearing.

Mitchell -- Asks whom Feinstein's office recommended. Ford said the Katz firm. Asking about her friend Leland She says her friend Leland has health concerns and needed her attorneys to take care of this for her. Ford also said Leland was downstairs and she didn't tell her

Mitchell shows some of her humanity by saying this setting with questions in five-minute increments is not the best way to question trauma victims.

Mitchell asks whether anyone advised her to get a "forensic interview." She said now. Ford said that she was not.

Feinstein said Mr. Judge (one of the 3) was not willing to come forward. "The failure to call him to testify is so critical. I hope the majority would reconsider that." Blumenthal said these three witnesses should be brought before them.Objects to submitting them to record

Grassley thanks Ford for her testimony and bravery and answering "our questions to the best of her memory." Recess for 45 minutes.

Attorney Rachel Mitchell did a terrible job for the Republicans. Mitchell seemed wounded by Harris' reference to the manual from Maricopa County and wanted to show her expertise. Big mistake to say this setting was not helpful. I agree, we need an FBI investigation

Can I say this. AMAZING that the Republican members of the committee are eager to talk to the PRESS but wouldn't show their faces or speak their own words at the hearing. A journalist should ask him why he couldn't say this on the record in the committee room. Coward.

Lindsay Graham is LYING. Victims of child sexual abuse can as adults have their claims investigated by law enforcement even without a specific date and time when they were raped or rape was attempted.

Again Lindsay Graham is a DISGRACE. He says he wants the PRESUMPTION of innocence. What he wants is a CONCLUSION of innocence. Senator the FBI could talk to Mark Judge.

My prediction. Even though Lindsay Graham and other Republican Senators were afraid of the optics of being on camera inside the hearing room, for years upon years upon years, we will watch and re-watch that basement interview.

Okay, taking a break until just before 3. Back here after the recess.

Judge Kavanaugh is walking toward the hearing room flanked by security, his wife Ashley near his side. They are in the room now.

Kavanaugh is adjusting things. Adjusted his mic. Adjusted his name plate. Poured some water into a glass. Adjusts his tie. Adjusts his chair. Pulled out his pen from his inner jacket pocket. Pursed lips. Licks his lips. He looks like his is between anger and tears.

Grassley is droning on in his gravelly voice. Now, he asks Kavanaugh to rise. He swears him in. He buttoned his blazer before taken the oath. He unbuttons before he sits. He begins to speak. Says he wrote remarks and few have seen. I suppose these aren't same ones on line.

Kavanaugh is shouting. Quite a contrast to his mild-mannered posture on Fox News. I think he is over-compensating for criticism of his TV appearance. He claims he supports FBI investigation. That's new. Why are we here then?

He is raging against Dr. Ford. Said "advice and consent" has been replaced with "search and destroy." He says this is politically-motivated. He is angry. Almost spitting out his words. Objecting to those who oppose his candidacy. Angry that they called him "evil"

Says people are trying to "blow me up and take me down."

Calls the previous hearings a "disgrace." Says this allegation was used to deploy to take him down when they couldn't "take me down on the merits."

Wow. What happened to the choir boy? Said millions of dollars front outside left-wing opposition groups are behind this. Calls this a "grotesque . . character assassination." Says "I fear for the future."

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process." He claims that this is a coordinated effort to drive him out and tarnish his bad name. He says "I've never sexually assaulted anyone." He said "one of my closest friends was a woman who was sexually abused."

He says "due process means listening to both sides." He said his parents are here today. Now he's beginning to cry as he talks about his mother going to law school when he was ten years old.

He claims there is no corroboration, but that is not true. He is lying. The therapist's notes are corroboration. The sworn statements from people she told submitted to the committee are corroboration. He is WRONG on the law and he wants to be a Supreme Court judge.

Now he is crying after he talks about his young daughter saying her prayers and saying "we should pray for the woman." Then he added, "we mean no ill will."

He just breezed by his job at the solicitor general's office. . . hmmm did he mean "no ill will" when he wrote those demeaning questions about sexual acts between the president and Monica Lewinsky.

Kavanaugh seems to be throwing a childhood fit. THIS IS MY JOB! He seems to be shouting over and over. Someone should count how many times he has said the word "I."

He keeps talking about the six FBI background checks. . . but did anyone ask his friend Mark Judge? Why is Mark Judge hiding out? He is calling her a liar. Said he never had any physical or sexually encounter with her

I imagine Donald Trump is the intended audience for his RAGE-TESTIMONY. He says Ford may have been assaulted but not by him. This is a guy who was known to be an incoherent drunk and black out.

He is now focusing in on the maps. How could she have gotten there. He is going after her credibility. He is in full attack mode. Now he bring sup the calendars. He smiles, showing his pride in keeping calendars. He mentions his dad and starts to cry.

Kavanaugh's father would tell stories to the family, using his calendar to remember events. So, he also kept calendars of his own as a calendars and diaries. So, why would he put in the calendar an impromptu party? Would this party be the type he would tell his kids.

He says he assumes (but does not know) that a drunken party would have to be on a weekend. He says he was out of town on the weekends or busy with something else. He said weekend before football training camp "was no time for parties."

He said during the week he cut lawns in the summer of 1992, sometimes he worked out with other guys at a friend's house. The "great quarterback" on his football team. Or lifted weights. He said there are some weekday gatherings at friends house, but none show this group

Male privilege is this. Getting to shout in indignation when someone doesn't believe you on and on an on in front of the world. Can you imagine the reaction if Christine Blasey-Ford raged like this at not being believed?

No. No one is presuming you guilty of sexual assault. We are asking for a full investigation by the FBI, including with the alleged eye-witness with Mark Judge

Now he is claiming the sexist, crass language on his yearbook page was modeled after popular movies at the time, "Animal House," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and Caddyshack." He says he and his friends have cringed.

He says he and his friends were saddened about language used in the yearbook about a friend. He's blaming the circus. Says it was clumsy language and no one meant it in a sexual sense. He is tearing up again.

Here we go. We are now getting a full story of his sexual history. His wife smiled after he says that he was inwardly proud of this, his wife Ashley who is sitting behind him to the left nodded and smiled.

Whoops. I meant 1982
Now he is tearing up because a feminist friend of him told him in an email "you are a good man. A good man. A good man."

He is still SHOUTING. I don't know about you, but I would never SHOUT ABOUT HOW GREAT MY FRIENDS THINK I AM. This is what he is doing. I have never seen anyone RAGE on like this.

He is still SHOUTING. I find all of this RAGING and SHOUTING very disturbing. In my home, my husband and I don't shout, not even to communicate from room to room. We will text instead. SHOUTING RAISES THE LISTENER'S BLOOD PRESSURE. SHOUTING FEELS REALLY ABUSIVE.

If a woman ranged on like this she would be called HYSTERICAL. SHRILL. OUT OF CONTROL.

I think it's really weird that he remembers which students of his are woman who he helped. I have lots of law students and I don't classify them by gender. Now he's blaming the committee for what they "unleashed" and now he might not be able to teach again


Now Kavanaugh is thanking the president for his "steadfast support." He says his wife Ashley has "been a rock." Still shouting and whining.

He is calling her allegations a "refuted allegation." He is falsely claiming that we are abandoning due process. But we are not, we want an FBI investigation.

He concluded his remarks by saying he swears his is innocent of these charges.

Now it is Attorney Rachel Mitchell who will begin asking questions for one of the Republican members of the committee. Perhaps for Grassley.

Mitchell asks how Kavanaugh knows Mark Judge. He was "a funny guy. Great writer. Popular. Developed a serious addiction problem that lasted decades. Near death." Said he suffered tremendously. Hasn't spoken to Judge for several years. Says he has been on group emails

Mitchell is going through the names of people who Dr. Ford said were at the party.

Now Sen. Feinstein said all three woman (Ford, Ramirez, Swetnick) have asked the FBI to investigate their claims. She asked him why he hasn't ask for FBI to investigate. He said, "I'll do whatever the committee wants." Now he is shouting MY FAMILY HAS BEEN DESTROYED

Now he shouts IT IS AN OUTRAGE THAT I WAS NOT ALLOWED IMMEDIATELY TO COME TO DEFEND MYSELF. He is not answering her question about why he won't ask for an FBI investigation. I WANTED TO BE HERE RIGHT AWAY.

Feinstein says we need the FBI to interview. He just cut off the senator YOU'RE INTERVIEWING ME! He just said THE SWETNICK THING IS A JOKE. IT'S A FARCE

The republican's lawyer Mitchell asked him what "too many beers" means. He said whatever the chart says re blood alcohol. Also is he being truthful about the drinking age? I thought it was raised to 21 in July 1982 in Maryland. He said he never blacked out, but fell asleep

Looks like he just misstated the law or lied under oath. He was not legal to drink when he was a senior in high school…

Now Rachel Mitchell on behalf of one of the Republican senators is going through all of the specific details about the alleged sexual assault. He is denying each thing she asks.

Kavanaugh has asked for a break. They are taking a 15 minute break.

Sen. Leahy is asking re Mark Judge. If he was in room then, he should be in the room today. "Would you want him called as a witness."Kavanaugh said he already provided a letter. Kavanaugh keeps interrupting. "It was dropped on me. It was sprungHE'S PROVIDED SWORN TESTIMONY

Leahy asks Kavanaugh whether he is the "Bart O'Kavanaugh" in the book "Wasted." He calls it a fictionalized account that he wrote to help with his sobriety. "I'm trying to get a straight answer from you under oath." Kavanaugh said, "You'd have to ask him." Leahy agrees

Leahy asked whether Kavanaugh discussed drinking and sexual exploits in his yearbook. Kavanaugh said he was number one in his class. Kav interrupts "I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY HIGH SCHOOL RECORD IF YOU ARE GOING TO MOCK ME."

Leahy asks again whether the yearbook reflects him. Calls it "a new level of absurdity" that a Supreme Court nomination can be based on a high school yearbook. Leahy responds, that he filibustered but didn't answer.

It's attorney Mitchell's turn to ask question. She is going back to his calendar. Let me use this as an opportunity to say that this man does not have the temperament to be a federal judge.

She is asking whether anyone ever complained about unwanted sexual behavior. He said now. He said he's been interviewed by the committee several times "each of these new things, as absurd as they are, we'd kind of get on the phone and review them." He rolled his eyes.

Senator Durbin said, "you started off with an impassioned statement at the beginning." He then said Kavanaugh went on, "I welcome any kind of investigation." Durbin, said please turn to Don McGahn and ask him to suspend this nomination and have the FBI investigate.

Grassley started shouting. THIS COMMITTEE RUNS THIS HEARING. . . REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU SAY TO DON MCGAHN, WE ARE NOT SUSPENDING THIS HEARING. Durbin said, please say you will not be an obstacle to an FBI investigation. He won't say yes. "This thing was sprung on me"

Kavanaugh is claiming that an FBI investigation is unnecessary, that it won't reach conclusions, that they just question people. Leahy said, "why would you resist that kind of investigation." He won't answer. "Do you think this is the best thing the committee to do?"


Graham: IF YOU WANTED A FAIR PROCESS, YOU CAME TO THE WRONG TOWN,. This is Hell. YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO BE BILL COSBY WHEN YOU'RE A JUNIOR AND SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL. He's claiming if you drugged and raped women in high school you wouldn't stop.


Let me take this moment to say this is far, far worse than the Clarence Thomas hearing.

Whenever asked about drinking they said he was at the top of his class. (EDITORIAL MOMENT: By the way, I also got into Yale. I also went to Harvard Law, and we drank a lot.) He would not admit that the "Ralph club" meant vomiting after drinking. He said he has weak stomach

Now Kavanaugh says "Devil's Triangle" is a drinking game, similar to quarters. Asked what FFFFFourthofJuly. He claims his friend who kind of stuttered when saying the F word. (He seems to have an answer for all of this, none of which actually reflects common usage).

I was in a relationship once with an alcoholic. His belligerence is familiar. Sen. Cornyn is saying, in order to vote against his nomination we would have to conclude that you are a serial liar.

Senator Cornyn, if you want evidence, then why are you blocking an FBI investigation. Why don't you require Mark Judge the supposed eyewitness to be interviewed by FBI. Also, she did bring corroboration. The three sworn statements, including her therapist

Senator Cornyn's reputation is on the line. True. But he seems to forget so is Dr. Ford's.

Senator Klobuchar, asked him, why doesn't he ask the President to reopen the FBI investigation. He responded that he respects her. She said people like Mark Judge, this polygraph expert. We would like to have those witnesses. If we could open this up. Have FBI followup

Klobuchar said her father still in AA at age 90.He said he is still sober and he says "he was pursued by grace." She says that news reports say that he drink and was belligerent"Was there ever a time you drank too much that you couldn't remember what happened or part"

I don't find Kavanaugh's answer credible. I was never a problem drinker, although sadly, I did at times "binge drink" as a college student and sometimes later. Of course there are things I forgot from the night before.

Argument between Grassley and Whitehouse about FBI investigation. Grassley shouts that anyone can ask for one and that it does not come to conclusion. But he ignores the benefit of such an interview on alleged witnesses, accusers and accused. Also Whitehouse said he asked

Grassley announced a break

While we are on break, some reflections. Whenever asked about his drinking, Kavanaugh's reflex is to say, I got good grades, I got into good schools. Not responsive. It is defensive. Also when asked about drinking he also turns it around aggressively questioning senator

We are back. Kavanaugh now apologies for asking her about her drinking. Now she says the FBI background check should be reopened.

Senator Hatch is shouting. KAVANAUGH HAS BEEN A FEDERAL JUDGE FOR TWELVE YEARS. . .HIS CLERKS LOVE HIM. . .HIS STUDENTS LOVE HIM. HIS COLLEAGUES LOVE HIM. THIS MAN IS NOT A MONSTER. Hatch says if he committed sexual assault he should not serve. Complains about circus

Now Hatch is complaining about "porn star lawyers' who are driving the news cycle. Again a double standard. He attacks a woman but bows to the man (the president) who had unprotected sex with her while married, while he had a young baby at home.

Hatch is still shouting. I am getting a headache, and am astonished by all of this SHOUTING. He ends with "I think this is a disgrace."

Sen. Coons says these topics are worthy of our attention. Says he doesn't know what Coons means by getting aggressive while drinking. Coons asks about Liz Swisher a college classmate from Yale. Kavanaugh tries to change subject.

Coons says Liz Swisher drank with Kavanaugh and that he drank to excess. "Brett was a sloppy drunk and I know because I drank with him." Kavanaugh said, "I don't think that is a fair characterization."

Coons asked Kavanaugh to put himself in their shoes. "Why not agree to a one-week pause to allow the FBI to investigate all of these allegations?" Instead of answering he keeps referring back to written statements. Coons said the credibility of the court depends upon this

Kavanaugh keeps saying, "it's been investigated." Coons keeps tapping the table with the eraser-end of his pencil as Kavanaugh tries to convince us that written statements are the same as an FBI investigation.

Dear lord. Why is Grassley shouting again? Do Grassley, Graham, Hatch, and Kavanaugh only have one volume -- Rage.

Mike Lee is talking. He is lecturing with his angry talking points. Same talking points they have all had. They keep ignoring that Dr. Ford requested confidentiality.

What is the German word for my eyes have rolled so far back in my head I cannot even see Mike Lee spouting his insincere talking points. Oh dear, he is mentioning Biden's worst moment? No one thinks that hearing was a good moment for him

Sasse is talking. "I think Dr. Ford is a victim" but complains Feinstein staff made recommendation to Ford to hire lawyer, and no questions were asked at earlier hearings. [Yes, if you care about Dr. Ford, then you would understand why she wanted to remain confidential].

Blumenthal quotes Latin jury instruction. False in one thing, false in all. He is now attacking the senator for bringing up the friend that he said he was an alumnus of. Blumenthal asks whether a six statement letter written by lawyer is same thing as testimony under oath

Blumenthal quotes something Kavanaugh said earlier claiming this past six weeks is a set up, motivated by revenge from Clintons, etc. Asking if Kavanaugh things motivation of courageous woman was revenge?

Blumenthal now quotes a speech he gave at Yale when he fell out of a bus onto the steps. Kavanaugh interrupt and talks about the game. Blumenthal said Kavanaugh said "I had to piece things together" to find out what happened that night.

Kavanaugh says he knew exactly what happened at that game. Weird, then why did he say he had to piece things together later. Was he lying for no reason in a speech he gave about his drinking?

Senator Crapo is asking questions. Fortunately, He is not shouting. He is asking about legal authority for the Senate to investigate after an FBI investigation. Now Crapo is conversing with Grassley. Crapo claims that the committee already interviewed witnesses

Why do the republicans keep saying that Mark Judge and others gave sworn statements. He didn't It was his lawyer. What are they hiding. The norm is to get the FBI to reopen the background check.

Grassley announced a five minute break.

Kavanaugh is back in the chair. We are ready to go again 6:07 pm

Senator Hirano says when you accuse us of ambushing you, we have to remember Dr. Ford's courage. Hirano said you said our questions were embarrassments? This is a job interview. There is no entitlement.

Hirano asks about "credibility, character and candor" also temperament. He said that everyone has praised his "judicial temperament." Asked about whether he treated women with dignity and respect and didn't drink excessively. Asked if his former roommate was lying

He said, not responsively, that he got into Yale Law School and that he studied in Cross Campus Library everynight. Guess what, I studied in Cross Campus Library, I got into Harvard Law, and as noted above, I sometimes (unfortunately) drank to excess.Not mutually exclusive

Tillis is talking, or rather SHOUTING. They can shout and shout and shout and shout and shout, but it doesn't change the fact that they do not want an FBI investigation.

Booker asked whether Kavanaugh drank during week days. Was "skies" brewskies? Kavanaugh did drink on week days. Booker asked whether it was correct that after drinking he never had gaps in memory. "That's what I said." Kavanaugh replied.

Booker asked whether Dr. Ford is a political operative or pawn. He doesn't answer. "Do you wish she never came forward?" He keeps not responding responsively. Are you questioning her sense of "civic duty." He won't respond, "We bear no ill will toward her."

Booker: she didn't coordinate in 2012, 14, 17 or 18 before he was nominated. "All the witnesses who were there said it didn't happen." Kavanaugh said. But Booker corrected him. That's not what friend said. "Do you think that people who believe Dr. Ford" are despicable.

Ted Cruz is talking. Talking not shouting. He is talking about Kavanaugh's mother watching her son's name dragged through the mud. Camera is on her. She looks devastated. Camera is back on Kavanaugh and Cruz

Cruz is lying about Debbie Ramirez's allegations. The NYT did not find them not credible. In fact Dean Baquet has stated that they did not publish it because they did not get an interview with Debbie (as she had an exclusive with the New Yorker).

Here we go again, ignoring the fact that the reason Feinstein did not disclose Dr. Ford's claims was because she wanted confidentially. Also WHAT A JOKE. Ted Cruz claims this committee. THIS committee could have handled these allegations from Ford respectfully. Really? Hmm

Feinstein sets the record straight. Says the norm is to have the FBI investigate. Says she kept the information from Dr. Blasey-Ford and held confidential and she did so until she decided she would come forward. She also said my staff didn't leak it.

Ted Cruz doesn't get it. Dr. Ford's definition of confidentiality meant not telling anyone. Gee, I wonder why she would not want this group involved in her most painful experience. It is not a "confidential setting" if you are told, Senator Cruz.

Feinstein says the story probably leaked because she had spoken to her friends. "It did not leak from us." Now Cornyn asked about the letter. Feinstein said the letter was not leaked. As Ford's testimony indicated that she spoke to the press after they found out

Senator Kamala Harris asked him whether he took a polygraph. He said no and that they are not admissible in Federal Court as they are not reliable.

Harris: Are you willing to ask the White House to authorize the FBI to reopen background investigation.He responds that it's up to the committee. She said she was asking him. As it relate to the recent investigation.He dodges. She responds, "I'm going to take that as a no"

Harris asks how do you reconcile your treatment with that of Gorsuch who has very similar background. Same prep school. Prestigious schools, same clerkships. So was there a conspiracy. His answer is not responsive. She moves on.

Harris asks him, "Did you watch Dr. Ford's testimony." He said no. "I was going to" he added, but I was preparing mine. WOW.

Senator Flake said that we are all imperfect and there's no good process and there will always be doubt.

Now Sen. Kennedy, said, "Do you believe in God." Kavanaugh said yes.
"Are Doctor Ford's allegations true?" Kav responded, "they are not accurate as to me." Then he said "I've never done that to her or to anyone."

Kavanaugh when asked by Kennedy also said that the allegations from Ramirez and Swetnick were not true. Called it "totally ridiculous." Says "I swear to God."

Hearing adjourned. 6:45 pm ET.

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