Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh firmly and at times tearfully denied the late-breaking allegations of sexual misconduct against him in testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” Kavanaugh said in opening remarks. “You have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.”
“You may defeat me in the final vote,” he said, “but you’ll never get me to quit.”
Kavanaugh’s chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, 51, testified earlier in the day. The California research psychologist and college professor was questioned about her allegation that Kavanaugh, 53, sexually assaulted her while drunk when both were teens in high school.
“I’m never going to get my reputation back,” Kavanaugh told the Senate committee. “My life is totally and permanently altered.”
Kavanaugh faced criticism for lacking emotion days ago in a Fox News Channel interview, but the federal appeals judge did not lack anger, frustration, or other emotions in confronting the allegations Thursday afternoon.
A vote by the Judiciary Committee’s 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on sending the nomination to the full Senate was expected Friday.
Here are nine key moments in the extraordinary hearing examining the character of President Donald Trump’s nominee to the high court.
1. Ford’s Charge ‘Refuted’
Kavanaugh said during his testimony that Ford’s allegation “is not only uncorroborated, it has been refuted.”
“I denied the allegation immediately, categorically, and unequivocally,” he said. “All four people allegedly at the event, including Dr. Ford’s longtime friend Ms. [Leland] Keyser, have said they recall no such event.”
Besides Kavanaugh, Ford said, his classmate Mark Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh attacked her. She said Leland Ingham Keyser and Patrick J. Smyth were the others at the gathering of teens.
However, under penalty of felony, everyone named by Ford said in sworn statements to the committee they did not remember the gathering. Keyser said she didn’t remember knowing Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh said he doesn’t doubt Ford might have experienced a sexual assault, but stated firmly and repeatedly that it was not by him.
“I was not at the party described by Dr. Ford,” Kavanaugh testified.
At the end of his prepared remarks, Kavanaugh said:
I ask you to judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your brother, or your son. My family and I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford or her family. But I swear today, under oath, before the Senate and the nation and before my family and God, I am innocent of this charge.
2. ‘Orchestrated Political Hit’
In his opening remarks, Kavanaugh directed anger at some committee Democrats and their political backers:
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside, left-wing opposition groups.
He lashed out at an allegation that emerged Wednesday from a woman, Julie Swetnick, who claimed he participated in multiple gang rapes as a high school student.
“The Swetnick thing is a joke,” Kavanaugh said. “That is a farce.”
Kavanaugh said it will become difficult to nominate good people to serve the country because they will fear a similar smear.
He warned, “What goes around comes around,” and added: “I fear for our future.”
Early on, Kavanaugh became emotional when talking about his younger daughter, Liza, and his wife Ashley.
“I intend no ill will to Dr. Ford and her family,” Kavanaugh said, fighting tears. “The other night, Ashley and Liza said their prayers and little Liza—all of 10 years old—said to Ashley, ‘We should pray for the woman.’”
“That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old,” he added.
3. ‘I Still Like Beer’
Kavanaugh admitted to drinking beer, and, in his youth, perhaps too much.
“I liked beer. I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh said.
He admitted to “going to sleep” after drinking while young, but said he wouldn’t forget what had happened.
“If every American who drinks beer, or every American who drank beer in high school, is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, we’ll be in an ugly new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault,” he said.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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