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Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testified separately before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, in one of the most publicized and highly anticipated testimonies by a Supreme Court nominee in decades.
Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school.
Ford’s testimony came after days of high-stakes negotiations over the terms of her appearance before the committee. Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor who specializes in sex crimes, was tapped to question Ford.
Ford has said an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s. In a New Yorker exposé published Sunday, a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that while attending Yale University with Kavanaugh, he exposed himself at a dorm party where alcohol was present, put his penis in her face and then, as she pushed him away, caused her to touch it without her consent.
A third woman went public in a three-page sworn declaration on Wednesday. Julie Swetnick said she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is also investigating at least two more allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, according to reports from NBC News and Bloomberg.
Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations. In his first televised interview on Martha MacCallum’s The Story on Fox News on Monday night, he said, “The truth is, I never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise. I’m not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford, in some point of her life, was sexually assaulted by someone in some place. But what I know is that I never sexually assaulted anyone.”
In the same interview, Kavanaugh claimed that he did not have “sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter.”
Earlier in the week, anti-harassment organization Time’s Up organized a nationwide walkout in support of Ford. Several of Hollywood’s biggest names showed solidarity with her, including Kerry Washington, Debra Messing, Emmy Rossum, Jessica Chastain, J.J. Abrams and more.
Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony was broadcast live at 10 a.m. ET from the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
CNN, PBS NewsHour, CBS News and C-SPAN live-streamed the hearing, as did ABC via its breaking news and live-events channel. Fox News and NBC News had all-day coverage as well.
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