Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh: Most memorable moments from their testimonies

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers, emotionally recalled the night of the alleged attack before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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Ford broke her silence after 36 years, telling senators she originally wished to remain anonymous but once her story became public, she believed it was her “civic duty” to come forward.

The accusations were later steadfastedly denied by Kavanaugh in a separate hearing before the committee, with the judge telling senators that he would “not be intimidated into withdrawing from [the confirmation] process.”

Here are some of the moments that mattered from the hearings:

Christine Blasey Ford

Michael Reynolds/Pool via Reuters
Professor Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

“I am terrified.”

Ford began her testimony by describing the anxiety accompanying her appearance before the committee. Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was detained by Republicans on the committee to question Ford, would later tell Ford that she was “struck” by the fact that Ford appeared “terrified.”

“I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry,” Mitchell said. “That’s not right.”

“I believed he was going to rape me.”

As part of her opening statement, Ford described the thoughts she had during her alleged encounter with Kavanaugh in high school.

“I am no one’s pawn.”

Ford said her motivation to come forward with her story was entirely unrelated to politics. “I am an independent person,” she said.

“The laughter.”

After recounting what she remembered of the alleged assault, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked Ford for her strongest memory.

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two. And their having fun at my expense,” Ford responded, adding, “They were laughing with each other.”

“100 percent.”

Ford gave a straightforward response when Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked to what degree of certainty she believed Kavanaugh assaulted her.

“Mark Judge should be subpoenaed.”

Durbin was forceful in his assertion that Mark Judge, whom Ford alleges was also present and participated in the accused assault, should provide testimony of his own before the committee.

Grassley defends Mitchell.

Facing criticism from some Democratic senators for including Mitchell in the hearing, Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, that Mitchell, the prosecutor, will continue to question Ford on the senators’ behalf.

“We have a very supportive community.”

After expressing concerns about her privacy earlier in the hearing, Ford told Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., that her husband and children “are doing fairly well,” even as she has faced personal backlash.

Brett Kavanaugh

PHOTO: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

“A national disgrace.”

Kavanaugh was forceful in his denial of wrongdoing during his opening statement, telling the committee that his name had been “destroyed by vicious and false … accusations.”

“A calculated and orchestrated political hit.”

The judge portrayed the allegation against him as motivated by politics and claimed that it could be connected to his role in special counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation of former President Bill Clinton.

“I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

After first criticizing the committee for delaying a hearing on the accusation, Kavanaugh said he has never been accused of sexual misconduct until his Supreme Court nomination.

“We should pray for the woman.”

Kavanaugh told the committee that he “intend[s] no ill will toward Dr. Ford” and that one of his daughters suggested she and her sister pray for Ford.

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