A defiant Brett Kavanaugh told lawmakers Thursday he will not withdraw as President Donald Trump’s US Supreme Court nominee, slamming the controversial confirmation process as a “national disgrace.”
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee, insisting “I am innocent of this charge” of sexual assault from decades ago.
“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations,” Kavanaugh, fighting back tears as he insisted he has never sexually assaulted anyone.
Kavanaugh's high-stakes testimony followed just minutes after the panel heard from professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at a 1982 party when the two were in high school.
Accuser wraps up testimony after four-hour hearing
California professor Christine Blasey Ford wrapped up her testimony to the Senate after a four-hour hearing on Thursday, steadfastly defending her memory of an alleged sexual assault 36 years ago by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh had stridently rejected the allegations of sexual abuse by Blasey Ford and two other women in prepared remarks.
After delivering an emotional opening statement, Blasey Ford was questioned by a professional sex crimes prosecutor about her memory and motivation in coming forth with the accusation, which has jeopardized Kavanaugh's approval.
She dismissed suggestions she had a political motivation and said she was “100 percent” certain her attacker in the summer of 1982 was Kavanaugh.
Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor recruited by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Kavanaugh's accuser in the nationally televised hearing, explored questions about the alleged assault, and how Blasey Ford came forward with her accusation.
But Mitchell held back from directly challenging the allegation, or from any serious attempt to undermine Blasey Ford's credibility.
Blasey Ford admitted not being able to remember some details about the incident, which she says involved Kavanaugh and another boy shutting her in a room and attmpting to tear off her clothing, but said she had several clear memories of it.
“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and they are having fun at my expense.”
“I was underneath one of them while the two laughed.”