5 things you may have missed from Kavanaugh, Ford’s testimonies before senate panel
On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh both testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after Ford alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both teenagers.
Kavanaugh denies Ford’s allegation. He has also denied claims of sexual misconduct made against him by a few other women.
Ford was questioned by an independent prosecutor Thursday morning and Kavanaugh’s questioning commenced Thursday afternoon by both the prosecutor and the senate panel.
Here are five things to note from Thursday’s hearings that you may have missed.
Kavanaugh doesn’t deny that Ford was sexually assaulted…by “some person”
WATCH: Christine Blasey Ford accuses Kavanaugh of trying to rape her in 1982. And as Jackson Proskow reports, Ford says she believed Kavanaugh was accidentally going to kill her.
The supreme court nominee was very careful in his testimony not to discredit Ford entirely, saying that she was perhaps sexually assaulted by “some person, somewhere, at some time,” but unequivocally denied that he was the perpetrator.
However, when Ford was asked if she was sure Kavanaugh was indeed her attacker, she responded that she was “100 per cent” certain and remained steadfast for the duration of her testimony.
Ford said “absolutely not” when Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein asked her if it could be a case of mistaken identity, as Kavanaugh has suggested.
He said once again before the hearing ended that while she may have been assaulted by “someone, some place,” he has “never done this to her, or to anyone.”
WATCH: Kavanaugh on sex assault allegation: I am innocent of this charge
Ford uses science to explain how she’s 100% sure Kavanaugh assaulted her
During the question period, members of the committee pressed Ford, who is a professor of psychology, on whether she remembered correctly.
When asked how she was “so sure that it was he” who had assaulted her, Ford replied, “The same way that I’m sure I’m talking to you right now. Just basic memory functions.
“Also, just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that sort of encodes …. memories into the hippocampus so the trauma-related experience is locked there, whereas other details sort of drift.”
Some students at Yale Law School found Ford’s testimony to be extremely credible, despite Kavanaugh being a graduate of the prestigious law school.
WATCH: Christine Blasey Ford says ‘100 per cent’ certainty Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her
“Her clinical language – I think she uses the word hippocampus about six times, that actually made her more, not less credible to me,” said Jacob Bennett, a third-year law student, referring to Ford’s physiological descriptions of how the brain forms memories.
Kavanaugh tussles with senators over his drinking habits
Kavanaugh was repeatedly asked by senators to elaborate on his drinking habits in high school and university. The supreme court nominee entered into one particularly heated exchange with Sen. Amy Klobuchar over his drinking in high school.
Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh was drunk at the time he sexually assaulted her.
WATCH: ‘I have no drinking problem’: Kavanaugh pushes back on claims
Klobuchar said Kavanaugh wrote in testimony that he sometimes had too many drinks. Klobuchar asked whether he ever drank so much that he couldn’t remember what happened or part of what happened the night before. Kavanaugh answered “no.”
In a back-and-forth, he added, “Have you?” and followed up a second time. Klobuchar said: “I have no drinking problem, Judge.” Kavanaugh responded: “Nor do I.”
After returning from a break, he apologized for asking her that question.
Senator says a vote against Kavanaugh would ‘legitimize the most despicable thing’ he’s seen in politics
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said during the hearings that the Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh was “despicable.”
Graham said Thursday evening that Democrats sat on allegations against Kavanaugh and then sprung them on the nominee at the last minute in a desperate attempt to prevent his confirmation.
The South Carolina senator says Democrats want to “destroy” Kavanaugh’s life and hold the seat open in hopes of winning the White House in 2020
WATCH: ‘This isn’t a job interview; this is hell’: Sen. Graham sounds off at Senate hearing
Graham says a vote against Kavanaugh would “legitimize the most despicable thing I have ever seen in politics.” He also called the Democrats’ tactics “the most unethical sham.”
Graham has also supported Republicans’ efforts to block any movement on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.
Accusations of a ‘orchestrated’ political plot
Kavanaugh sharply attacked Democratic senators, calling himself the victim of “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” fueled by anger on the left at Trump’s 2016 election win. Kavanaugh tangled with Democratic senators, at one point repeatedly interrupting Senator Patrick Leahy, to make this point.
“Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out.”
WATCH: Kavanaugh says confirmation process has become a ‘national disgrace’
Calling himself a victim of “grotesque and obvious character assassination,” Kavanaugh, speaking passionately, said he “unequivocally and categorically” denied Ford’s allegation.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh added.
–With files from the Associated Press and Reuters.
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