Washington, D.C., USA : Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will today on Capitol Hill publicly answer questions about accusations Kavanaugh s******y assaulted Ford more than three decades ago.
The two are scheduled to give testimony at 10 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building before the Senate judiciary committee. It will be the first time Ford speaks publicly about allegations she made against Kavanaugh.
The hearing will be live streamed on the Senate judiciary website.
Thursday’s hearing will begin with opening remarks from committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who each have no time limit.
Ford will present her prepared remarks first and then each member of the committee will have five minutes to ask her questions. Kavanaugh will then follow with remarks and questions from the senators.
Though at least two other women have accused Kavanaugh of s****l misconduct, neither are testifying at Thursday’s hearing.
Christine Blasey Ford
Dr. Blasey came forward in an interview published by The Washington Post on Sept. 16, saying that Judge Kavanaugh had s******y assaulted her when she was about 15 at a party in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s.
She described a drunken Judge Kavanaugh pinning her on a bed, trying to take her clothing off and covering her mouth to keep her from screaming. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Dr. Blasey said a friend of Judge Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, was in the room and participated in the assault. He has denied the allegations.
Dr. Blasey, 51, is a research psychologist at Palo Alto University in Northern California, who also goes by her married name, Ford.
At the time of the alleged assault, she was a student at Holton-Arms School, a private girls’ prep school in Bethesda, Md. He was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School, an elite Jesuit school in suburban Washington.
Her account was also detailed in a confidential July 30 letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
The Post interview included quotations from Dr. Blasey’s husband and her lawyer, and it described a therapist’s notes from 2012 in which she spoke of the attack.
She also took a polygraph examination in August. The retired F.B.I. agent who conducted the examination, Jerry Hanafin, said the results showed “no deception indicated” — in effect, “she was being truthful.” Her lawyers released a copy of the polygraph report on Wednesday.
Judge Kavanaugh has denied the accusations, and the White House has said it stands by those denials.
President Donald Trump has supported Kavanaugh on multiple occasions, during a Wednesday new conference calling all accusations “false to me.”
“This is one of the highest quality people that I’ve ever met. And everybody that knows him says the same thing. And these are all false to me,” Trump said. “These are false accusations in certain cases, and certain cases even the media agrees with that. I can only say that what they’ve done to this man is incredible.”
The report resulted in the delay of the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination the week it was published.
Dr. Blasey’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, have said that since she went public with her story, she has been subjected to death threats, had her email hacked and had to leave her home.
The committee’s Republican leadership has retained an Arizona prosecutor specializing in s** crimes to help question Dr. Blasey about the allegations in a hearing on Thursday.
An examination taken by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was released Wednesday, showing she passed a polygraph test over the s****l assault allegations she’s lodged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The August 7 examination, held in a Maryland Hilton Hotel, consisted of a one-page, handwritten statement by Ford, an interview and two questions: Is any part of your statement false? And, Did you make up any part of your statement?
She answered both with a no. The Virginia-based examiner, Jeremiah Hanafin, noted both answers were deemed “not indicative of deception,” according to the report obtained by USA TODAY.
The report was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday ahead of Ford’s planned testimony on Thursday. In a letter to the committee’s leadership, Ford’s attorneys said they would not provide any of Ford’s medical records of the alleged assault.
“Any request that she expose her private medical records for public inspection represents an unacceptable invasion of privacy to which no reasonable person would consent,” her attorneys wrote. “Under no circumstances will we grant any such request.”
Ford’s attorneys have repeatedly noted Ford’s medical records as a way to corroborate her story. She is said to have talked about the assault during a 2012 couple’s therapy session, well before Kavanaugh was a nominee for the nation’s highest court.
Hanafin, who lists online that he provides polygraph services in Arlington, Virginia, wrote in his report that two other analysis’ was conducted, both concluding Ford’s answers showed no signs she was lying. One concluded the probability of deception was less than .02.
Ford’s signed handwritten note reiterated her claims of a s****l assault at a house party when she and Kavanaugh were teens.
“I was pushed into a bedroom and was locked in the room and rush onto a bed,” she wrote. “Brett laid on top of me and tried to remove my clothes while groping me. He held me down and put his hand on my mouth to stop me from screaming for help.”
Late Wednesday, photos of Ford taking the polygraph exam were sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The photos show Ford sitting at a table and seemingly hooked up to a machine.
Along with the polygraph examination, Ford and her attorneys sent over four signed declarations late Tuesday from people she told about the alleged s****l assault over the years in hopes to support her claims.
Kavanaugh also sent in a 1982 calendar, attempting to show he wasn’t present at the party where the alleged assault happened. Ford has noted she did not remember the exact date of the party but the calendar is filled with social gatherings and other gatherings.
Ms. Ramirez said in an interview published in The New Yorker on Sept. 23 that during the 1983-84 school year at Yale University, when she and Judge Kavanaugh were freshmen, he exposed himself to her during a drinking game in a dorm suite.
A small group of students sat in a circle and people selected who had to take a drink, she recalled, saying she was chosen frequently. She became drunk, she said.
Suddenly, Ms. Ramirez said, she saw a p**** in front of her face. One man told her to “kiss it,” she told The New Yorker. As she moved to push it away, she said, she saw Judge Kavanaugh standing, laughing and pulling up his pants. Raised a Catholic, Ms. Ramirez was “embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated,” she said.
Ms. Ramirez, 53, was a student of sociology and psychology at the time. She arrived at Yale from Shelton, Conn., the daughter of a telephone company lineman and a medical technician. She attended a coed Catholic high school, St. Joseph, that was predominantly white but had a number of minority students, including Ms. Ramirez, whose father was Puerto Rican.
Ms. Ramirez is now a registered Democrat who lives in Boulder, Colo., with her husband, Vikram Shah, a technology consultant. She has worked with a domestic violence organization and joined its board in 2014. She also works for the Boulder County housing department.
Ms. Ramirez said she told few people about the episode at the time. She and Judge Kavanaugh were not close friends, but they crossed paths, including at Yale and at a wedding in 1997.
Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegation, saying in a statement to The New Yorker, “This is a smear, plain and simple.”
More than 2,200 Yale women have signed a letter of support for Ms. Ramirez; a similar letter has been circulating among Yale men.
A lawyer for Ms. Ramirez has written to the Judiciary Committee saying that his client would be “willing to cooperate” and tell her story under certain terms.
On Wednesday, Ms. Swetnick accused Judge Kavanaugh of s****l misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s. Her allegation was conveyed in a statement posted on Twitter by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
Ms. Swetnick said she observed Judge Kavanaugh at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched and “gang r****.”
She said she witnessed Judge Kavanaugh participating in some of the misconduct, including lining up outside a bedroom where “numerous boys” were “waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.” Ms. Swetnick said she was r**** at one of the parties, and she believed she had been drugged.
Like Judge Kavanaugh, Ms. Swetnick, 55, is from the Washington suburbs. She grew up in Montgomery County, Md., graduating from Gaithersburg High School in 1980. She attended the University of Maryland, according to a résumé for her posted online, The Times reported.
She has held a variety of public and private sector jobs in Washington. Her résumé and her lawyer’s statement say she has held several government clearances, including with the State Department and the Justice Department.
Ms. Swetnick said in her statement that she had attended at least 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge, his friend, were present. (Mr. Judge has denied the allegations in her statement.)
Ms. Swetnick said she saw Judge Kavanaugh drinking “excessively” at parties and engaging in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”
In a statement issued by the White House, Judge Kavanaugh said there was no truth to the claim. “This is ridiculous and from the ‘Twilight Zone,’” he said. “I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”
President Trump dismissed Ms. Swetnick’s lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, on Twitter as a “third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations” and is seeking attention.
Judiciary Committee aides confirmed that they were examining Ms. Swetnick’s declaration. But the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, told reporters that he did not expect to find anything.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another Republican on the committee, said he would “not be a participant in wholesale character assassination that defies credibility.”
A fourth accusation surfaces
Judge Kavanaugh faced another accusation after an anonymous letter, dated Sept. 22, was sent to Senator Cory Gardener, Republican of Colorado.
In the letter, a woman said her daughter had witnessed Judge Kavanaugh drunkenly push her friend, a woman he was dating, up against a wall “very aggressively and s******y” after they left a bar one night in 1998.
On Tuesday, Judge Kavanaugh was questioned about the letter by staff lawyers for the Judiciary Committee about the accusation, which he denied, according to a transcript.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “Total ‘Twilight Zone.’ And no, I’ve never done anything like that.