Brett Kavanaugh says family name 'destroyed' by sex assault claim

Kavanaugh-Ford hearing: A dramatic lesson on gender roles

Hogue said Kavanaugh's role in the Bush White House and his position on Roe v. Wade also disqualifies him - but added that Ford's testimony shows that he "is absolutely unfit to sit on any federal bench".

She described in detail how an inebriated Kavanaugh and another teen, Mark Judge, locked her in a room at a house party as Kavanaugh was grinding and groping her. She told the committee that she wished she could provide more detailed answers to questions, but said said she does not remember as much as she would "like to".

Leahy pressed on and Ford explained her experience in stark terms: "I was underneath (Kavanaugh), while the two laughed".

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.

During a break, Democrats called Ford "100 percent credible" and "highly believable", while Republicans were careful to remain respectful of her and her story. She said she was "100 percent" positive that Kavanaugh was the person who sexually assaulted her 36 years ago and displayed her credentials as a psychology professor when describing her trauma. "That's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old", he said choking up.

Trump reportedly phoned Kavanaugh ahead of Thursday's hearing and urged him to push back forcefully, and many observers interpreted Kavanaugh's aggressive testimony as intended for the president. Surprisingly, it still prompted Ford to say a couple of very odd things.

Kavanaugh was up next, and he, also fighting tears at times, was passionate and furious.

"Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh".

What happened to the prosecutor?

Graham's rebuttal came after Kavanaugh refused to endorse halting the review of his nomination so the FBI can investigate the allegations made by Blasey Ford and two other women.

"I intend to vote for you and I hope everybody who is fair-minded will", he told Mr Kavanaugh.

Mitchell repeatedly inquired around who paid for the polygraph test Ford took before her story became public.

"The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation", Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker tweeted.

Said Mitchell, "I just wanted to let you know, I'm very sorry. That's not right", Mitchell said.

"Would you believe me that no study says that this setting in five-minute increments is the way to do that?" "Without an investigation, and with so many serious issues involved, I can't support this nomination if they choose to move forward".

The new allegations, offered in an affidavit provided to the Senate by the accuser's attorney on the eve of a hearing to examine other allegations of alleged sexual assault, say Kavanaugh took part in efforts during high school to intoxicate girls so that a group of boys could have sex with them.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a longtime committee member, said he thinks Kavanaugh will get confirmed by a party-line vote. Republicans control the Senate 51-49.

The meeting of four key senators occurred less than hour after Kavanaugh finished his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, where he forcefully and passionately maintained his innocence and defiantly challenged Democratic senators who grilled him on multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior.

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