Christine Blasey Ford emerged confident and certain in the first part of her marathon testimony, and Trump's allies are worried
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- Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, delivered emotional and steadfast testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
- Ford said she is "100%" certain that Kavanaugh assaulted her - and that his friend Mark Judge was a witness to the attack.
- Democrats praised Ford's courage, thanked her for coming forward, and criticized how Republicans have handled the multiple misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.
- The 11 Republicans on the committee - all of them men - said very little during Ford's questioning, opting to turn their time over to the female prosecutor asking questions on their behalf.
Christine Blasey Ford delivered emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in which she said she is "100%" certain that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, at times spoke with emotion in her voice and tears in her eyes, but remained calm and stalwart through several hours of questions from senators and an independent counsel, sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. Advertisement
Ford said repeatedly that she has absolutely no doubt that Kavanaugh assaulted her - and that his friend Mark Judge was a witness to the attack - and delivered a detailed account of the incident.
At one point, Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, brought up the suggestion made by some Republicans and their allies that Ford is confused about the identity of her alleged assaulter."I am asking you to address this new defense of mistaken identity directly," Durbin said. "Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe Judge Kavanaugh assaulted you?"
Ford replied without hesitation, "100 percent."The witness's experience as a psychologist was evident in many moments throughout her testimony, particularly when she described the anxiety and other long-term impacts the alleged assault had on her. When Ford was asked how she knows it was Kavanaugh and not another teenager who attacked her at the gathering, she responded, "Just basic memory functions and also just the level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that sort of, as you know, encodes - that neurotransmitter that codes memories into the hippocampus and so the trauma-related experience is locked there whereas other details kind of drift."Advertisement
Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Democrats praise Ford's 'profound public service'
While the 11 Republicans on the committee - all of them men - said very little during Ford's questioning, opting to turn their time over to Mitchell, every Democrat on the committee praised Ford's courage and thanked her for coming forward.Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, at one point stated the obvious: "The senators on the other side of the aisle have been silent." He then quoted something his Republican colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in his 2015 book about his prosecutions of rape cases.Advertisement
"I learned how much unexpected courage from a deep and hidden place it takes for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant," Graham wrote.
Democrats also defended Ford at points during the hearing."You are not on trial," Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor and California attorney general, told Ford after a bout of questioning by Mitchell. Advertisement
'She's pleasing': Republicans assess Ford's credibilityDuring breaks in the hearing, some GOP senators suggested to reporters that they believe Ford to be credible. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said that he found Ford "pleasing."
"I don't find her un-credible. I think she's an attractive - good witness," he said.Notably, hosts and commentators on Fox News appeared to sympathize with Ford.Advertisement
"This was extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible," Fox News host Chris Wallace said during a break in the hearing, adding, "This is a disaster for the Republicans."