The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony today from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school.
What’s at Stake
Kavanaugh is not being tried criminally. He does need to prove to the Senate that he’s fit for duty on the Supreme Court.
Ford has requested that only a few journalists be present for the hearing. During the hearing, she will describe her account of what happened. She claims that she and Kavanaugh were at a high school party. Kavanaugh supposedly forced her into a room and groped her. She says he covered her mouth when she tried to scream. The incident ended when another classmate entered the room.
Kavanaugh denies ever sexually assaulting anyone. He claims that he wasn’t even at the party Ford is referring to. Two men testified Wednesday that, in fact, they were involved in the incident, not Kavanaugh.
Ford will testify first. She can take as much time as she wants. Kavanaugh will then respond, taking as much time as he wants. The senators will each then have the opportunity to ask both of them questions for five minutes. There are 11 Republican senators and 10 Democratic senators on the committee.
The Republican senators are all male. Considering the delicate nature of the situation, they have called in a female prosecutor to assist with the questioning. She is Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor who specializes in trying sex crime cases.
President Donald Trump doesn’t necessarily believe Ford’s testimony. “It’s happened to me many times,” he said, referring to charges women have brought against him. He doesn’t rule out the possibility that Ford is telling the truth though. He said, “It’s possible that I’ll hear that and I’ll say I’m changing my mind.”
More Hearings Ahead?
Two other women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The first is Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s from Yale. She says that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both drinking.
The second is Julie Swetnick. She is accusing Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, of inappropriate behavior at a drinking party. Michael Avenatti is Swetnick’s lawyer. He’s also representing Stormy Daniels in her defamation case against Donald Trump and Michael Cohen.
Both Kavanaugh and Judge deny Swetnick’s allegations. Kavanaugh says he doesn’t even know Swetnick.