Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Sen. Jeff Flake Cornered by Protesters After Decision to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Jeff Flake Cornered by Protesters After Decision to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

But by the time she finished detailing her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, Ford was being widely praised as credible and fearless.

A handwritten message was spotted Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room: "Good luck, Dr. Ford", it says in blue pen.

Mr Kavanaugh, now 53, has denied them all and awaited his own chance to give evidence later.

White House officials also told TIME that they thought Kavanaugh's performance was "nothing short of spectacular" and would convince Republican senators to vote for him. The ABA had previously given a rating of "well qualified" to Kavanaugh when he was nominated in July.

Both Kavanaugh and his accuser, university professor Christine Ford, testified before the 21-member panel in an 8-hour-long hearing.

But with televisions across the nation tuned in to the hearing - senators among those riveted to their screens - it was unclear how politicians who will ultimately decide Mr Kavanaugh's fate will assess Ms Ford's credibility.

She alleges that in 1982, whilst they were both in high school Kavanaugh pushed her down, placed his hand over her mouth and attempted to remove her clothing. Even then, I knew the first line of the column I would write if that happened: 'It's now clear that Brett Kavanaugh's nomination can not go forward'. "This brings back so much pain", she said.

Kavanaugh, who has two daughters, said one of his girls said they should "pray for the woman" making the allegations against him, referring to Ford. He said he welcomes whatever investigation the committee wants into the incident but would not directly answer whether he would seek an FBI probe.

She said she feared the personal consequences would be akin to "jumping in front of a train". She took turns with the Democratic senators to ask questions in five-minute segments, disrupting her flow.

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What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. Ford and the American people deserve better", Harris wrote on Twitter following her departure. "She gave good testimony".

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Even Kavanaugh caught himself behaving questionably - and subsequently apologized for - during a tense moment with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, asked how she could be sure that Kavanaugh was the attacker, Ford said, "The same way I'm sure I'm talking to you right now".

For all but the most partisan Democrats, it surely must seem rather odd that again and again the people promoting Professor Ford's claim seem to have acted against her interests.

As Anita Hill did more two decades ago when she alleged sexual misconduct by Clarence Thomas, the mom of two testified before a committee with only male senators on the Republican side of the dais.

So although Grassley and Kavanaugh are correct that the Federal Bureau of Investigation might only serve as a gold-plated transcription service in this case, the completeness of those transcripts might exceed the body of evidence that now exists - and it would be evidence obtained from witnesses who could be prosecuted if they lied to the feds.

"They were laughing with each other", Ford replied.

Leahy said it's not that Democrats are trying to delay the nomination ahead of the midterm elections as Republicans contend. He said that a 35-year-old allegation should not become the new standard for withholding a nomination and that Democrats strategically dropped the accusation right before the hearing.

The Judiciary Committee, on which Republicans hold an 11-10 majority, was to meet on Friday morning and several senators said they expected it to vote then.

Republicans also risk rejection by female voters in November if they are seen as not fully respecting women and their allegations.

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