Ford, Kavanaugh give testimonies to senate committee

Ford, Kavanaugh give testimonies to senate committee

News Editor Karah Wilson

The FBI will conduct an investigation on Judge Brett Kavanaugh following the hearing Sept. 27.

An official from the White House confirmed to NBC News the White House is limiting other parts of the probe, including preventing agents from interviewing Julie Swetnick. Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez later brought claims toward Kavanaugh after Christine Ford.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sept. 29 that NBC News incorrectly reported that he is limiting the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh. Trump said he wants the FBI to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.

Ford and Kavanaugh went before the Senate Judiciary Committee to give testimonies on the case Ford brought against Kavanaugh.

Ford wrote a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, telling her about the experience she claimed to have with Kavanaugh at a high school party in 1982 when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.

She said while living in Maryland, she and Kavanaugh attended the same party. Ford said Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom while he was intoxicated and pinned her down to a bed. She said his friend, Mark Judge, was in the room watching and laughing. Ford said Kavanaugh groped her, tried to take her clothes off and placed his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. She said she was able to escape only after Judge jumped on top of her and Kavanaugh.

Ford’s attorney Debra Katz announced Sept. 17 Ford would be willing to speak with lawmakers. Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA said anyone who comes forward as Ford did deserves to be heard and he would continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedent and respectful manner, according to CNN.

During the hearing, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, asked Ford how certain she was it was Kavanaugh that assaulted her.

“100 percent,” Ford said.

Ford said she remembers the laughter of Kavanaugh and Judge and the attempts to escape and finally being able to do so. Leahy later asked Ford about her strongest memory of the attack.

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” Ford said. “And their having fun at my expense.”

Ford said the last couple of weeks have been the hardest of her life and she has had to relive the trauma and watch her life be picked apart.

She said when Kavanaugh climbed on top of her, she believed he was going to rape her and when he put his hand over her mouth it was hard for her to breathe and she thought he was going to accidentally kill her.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Ford’s testimony looked extremely credible and he said it could be a disaster for Republicans.

The Republican all-male majority hired Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell rather than questioning her themselves, according to PolitiFact. This was done to avoid a repeat of the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA. Ford requested the senators ask questions themselves.

Mitchell asked Ford about details about the accusation and the period of the summer before and after the incident.

Ford said she did not remember how she got home after the party, but remembers she did not drive home. Mitchell did show a map that pointed out Ford’s house was within an eight mile radius from the location of the party.

“I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one’s pawn,” Ford said. “My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life.”

Kavanaugh, who denied the allegations from the beginning, gave his testimony after Ford.

“I was not at the party described by Dr. Ford,” he said.

Kavanaugh used calendars from that year to cite notes and plans made in his senior year.

In his opening statement, he said the allegations destroyed his life and how the effects of this case would last forever.

“I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford,” Kavanaugh said. “The other night, Ashley and my daughter Eliza said their prayers, and little Eliza, 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.”

Kavanaugh told the committee he believes Democrats orchestrated the accusations as a political hit on him. He called out comments made by the Democrats as scare tactics, but they would not work. He said the accusations were fueled with pent-up anger about the 2016 election and is revenge on behalf of the Clintons.

“These consequences will be with us for decades,” he said. “This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competence in good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.”

He said the party’s coordinated effort to destroy his name and his family’s name will not work.

“You will not drive me out,” he said. “You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit.”

Kavanaugh said the confirmation has become a national disgrace and focused on the conspiracy theories and the accusations that surfaced.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MI, asked Kavanaugh if he ever forget things from drinking too much. He denied the claim and turned the question back on Klobuchar, but later apologized.

“I drank beer with my friends,” he said. “Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. 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.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, brought up Kavanaugh’s 1983 Georgetown Prep yearbook and was forced to explain references to beer and flatulence.

“The drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school, and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school,” Kavanaugh said. “The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school, people were legal to drink.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the allegations against Kavanaugh are a sham before asking Kavanaugh if he is a gang rapist, to which he replied no.

“You’ve got nothing to apologize for,” Graham said. “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics, and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy. This is not a job interview. This is hell.”

Graham said if Democrats wanted an FBI investigation, they could have come to the committee.

“What you want is to destroy this guy’s life, hold his seat open and hope you win in 2020,” he said.