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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Live Updates: Christine Blasey Ford Will Soon Testify About Sexual Assault Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct — which he denied — by three women. One of them, Ford, is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What We Know So Far

  • Christine Blasey Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh will testify after her. The developments in the scandal have gripped the nation.
  • Ford is the first of three women who have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Deborah Ramirez said Kavanaugh stuck his penis in her face in college. Julie Swetnick said Kavanaugh was present when she was gang raped in college. Kavanaugh was also asked recently about a fourth, unnamed woman after an anonymous letter claimed he had assaulted a Boulder, Colorado, woman in 1998.
  • Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations, calling them “false” and “smears.” President Trump has praised Kavanaugh as “an absolute gem” and said the allegations are a Democratic “con” — but also said Wednesday he could still change his mind about backing him.
  • At stake is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, one of the most powerful positions in the US government. Despite Ford not yet testifying, the Republican leadership has scheduled a committee vote on Kavanaugh on Friday. If that occurs, it’s possible a full vote in the Senate could come as early as Monday — but really anything could happen by then. *The Republican majority on today’s committee is all white men, and conscious of the optics and possible gaffes that could come with that, they hired an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor to question Ford.
  • Today’s proceedings harken back to the Anita Hill hearings in 1991. Hill accused Clarence Thomas of repeatedly sexually harassing her. He was later confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
  • Follow along here for live updates and video. Read all of BuzzFeed News’s coverage here.People have begun gathering inside and outside the Dirksen Senate Office building ahead of Thursday's hearing.
    Christine Blasey Ford has arrived with friends, while her husband remained in California with their children, according to CBS.
    Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, issued a statement sending support to Ford.
    "Thinking of you today, Christine," she wrote. "They want us to feel alone and isolated but I'm there wrapping my arms around you and I hope you feel the people of this nation wrapping their arms around all of us. Holding you up in spirit."
    Actress Alyssa Milano was also present in the hearing room to show support for Ford. A guest of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Milano told reporters she think this will be different than the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing.
    "I think we're standing in solidarity more than we were in 1991," Milano said.
    Meanwhile, crowds have gathered at the Capitol supporting both Kavanaugh and Ford.
    One group is holding signs that read "Confirm Kavanaugh," "Liberal Hypocrisy," and "Women for Kavanaugh."
    Meanwhile others in line for the overflow room were seen holding up signs that read, "I believe you." —Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

Two men told Senate staffers they, not Brett Kavanaugh, had “the encounter” with Christine Blasey Ford

Senate Judiciary Committee staff interviewed two men who said they believed that they, and not US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, had "the encounter" with the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, according to new information released Wednesday night by the committee.
The revelation — which came on the eve of much-anticipated public testimony from Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of assault, Christine Blasey Ford — included few details. The committee didn't identify the men, offer details about what they said, state whether committee staff found their accounts credible, or indicate whether there would be any further follow-up.
Read more here.

Trump said the Brett Kavanaugh allegations are false — but he could still change his mind

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s been falsely accused of sexual misconduct and so is inclined to reject the allegations from three women against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — but, the president added, he could still change his mind.
At a rambling press conference in New York City, Trump said repeatedly the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford and two other women were false and he questioned why they waited decades to come forward. But, Trump said, if Ford’s story is true, he’d withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah, sure,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question.
Read more here.

Here are the statements Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford will read to Senators

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who alleges he sexually assaulted her in high school, released transcripts of the prepared testimony they plan to give before senators ThNew sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from a third woman, Julie Swetnick, threw Capitol Hill into disarray Wednesday. But Republicans are refusing to change course and still plan to vote on the nomination early next week. Several of them, including President Donald Trump, said explicitly they do not believe the new accusations.
Swetnick claimed that Kavanaugh was present when she was gang-raped at a party and that he and his friend Mark Judge would regularly spike the drinks at parties to “cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘no.’”
In a press conference Wednesday night, Trump said that Swetnick’s accusations — as well as those of the other two women who have come forward — are “false.”
“These are all false to me,” Trump said, when asked if he thought all three women were lying. “These are false accusations in certain cases and in certain cases even the media agrees with that. “
Republicans also expressed doubts that Swetnick would continually attend parties where gang rapes were occurring without ever contacting the police. Sen. Tom Cotton said the allegations were “not credible,” while Sen. Bill Cassidy described the new developments as “clearly a tactic to delay, hoping we’ll push [the nomination] to after the midterms.”
Read more here.ursday.
In his prepared testimony, Kavanaugh continues to deny all the allegations, calling them “last-minute smears” that “debase our public discourse.”
In hers, Ford says she came forward because it was her civic duty.
“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,” Ford wrote in her statement.
Read their complete testimonies here.

Republicans are aggressively defending Brett Kavanaugh after a third woman accused him of sexual misconduct

A third woman accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, and said he was present when she was gang-raped
A third woman came forward Wednesdau to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, and said in a sworn declaration that the Supreme Court nominee was present when she was gang-raped at a party in 1982.
Julie Swetnick said in the declaration, submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Kavanaugh and his friends, including Mark Judge, helped spike the drinks of girls at high school house parties to “cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘no.’”
“I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be 'gang raped' in the side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys,” she wrote.
Read more here.


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