Senate panel says it will vote Friday on Kavanaugh nomination

Senate panel says it will vote Friday on Kavanaugh nomination

Senate panel says it will vote Friday on Kavanaugh nomination

President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court went before a Senate committee on Thursday, with dramatic testimony over nearly nine hours from Kavanaugh and from a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were high school students in Maryland in 1982. "Here's my understanding, if you lived a good life people would recognize it".

"I'm used to being collegial", she said at one point. Amid the deluge of reaction on social media, one prominent observation: Ford, as a woman, would have been judged as a far weaker witness had she behaved as Kavanaugh did. While almost every other Republican on the panel was leaning forward and appearing sympathetic to Kavanaugh as the judge angrily decried Democratic tactics and emotionally defended himself, Flake notably leaned back, at times with his arms crossed, at times scowling.

Some conservative scholars have suggested Blasey Ford's accusation was a case of mistaken identity, but Blasey Ford, 51, insisted she has a "100 percent" level of certainty that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C., said, is "as much a victim" as Kavanaugh.

But under the committee's procedures, the career prosecutor was limited to five minutes at a time, interspersed between Democrats' questions, creating a choppy effect as she tried piecing together the story.

Mitchell's approach was gentle but direct - yet inside the room, her methodical questions couldn't help but have the feeling of a cross-examination, exactly the atmosphere that Ford's attorneys wanted to avoid.

On Wednesday President Trump said he could withdraw Judge Kavanaugh's nomination if he "thought he was guilty of something like this".

But he became visibly evasive when Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked him two pointed questions: would Kavanaugh be in favor of Judge testifying before the committee, and would he ask the White House to order the FBI to investigate the claims against him?

America, the nation's only weekly Catholic news magazine, has published an editorial pulling its endorsement for Brett Kavanaugh following Thursday's hearings.

Yet the editors say that pushing forward with the Catholic judge is "no longer in the best interests of the country". Kavanaugh has vigorously denied her claims.

But the most salient piece of evidence came not from what Kavanaugh said, but what he didn't say. "I'm asking you to address this new defense of mistaken identity directly". One by one, each GOP senator would make it clear which story he believed - just as all the Democrats gave no doubt as to which story they believed.

"My family and my name have been permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations", Kavanaugh said.

The statement did not indicate which way Flake was leaning.

"Contrary to what the public has been led to believe" Grassley said, "the FBI doesn't perform any credibility assessments or verify the truth of any events in these background investigations".

Mitchell continued: "Dr. Ford, do you expect the price of that polygraph to be passed on to you?"

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