In a fiery, sometimes angry and sometimes tearful, opening statement, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh defended his honor and reputation, insisting that he did not sexually assault Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or anyone else in the 80s or any other time.
The high stakes testimony came after Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had groped her and covered his hand with her mouth at a house party in the 1980s. When it was his turn, Kavanaugh attempted to refute the allegations, pointing out that three friends Ford said were also at the party have said they have no recollection of it, including a female friend of the professor’s.
Kavanaugh’s testimony periodically grew tearful as he repeatedly took drinks of water during the lengthy testimony. In particular, Kavanaugh appeared in tears when he mentioned his two young daughters and his wife, Ashley, or his mother, Martha Kavanaugh, a judge who encouraged him to enter a career of law. He adamantly proclaimed his innocence. As the testimony dragged on, Kavanaugh periodically sniffled, never quite regaining his composure, and sometimes veering into angry comments.
Kavanaugh pointblank denied all of the Ford allegations, as outlined by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. CNN reported that Kavanaugh wrote his own opening statement and didn’t clear it first with the White House.
“Dr. Ford described an incident when she was alone in a room with you and Mark Judge. Have you ever been alone in a room with Dr. Ford and Mark Judge?”
Mitchell asked, “Dr. Ford described an incident when you were grinding your genitals on her. Have you ever ground or rubbed your genitals against Dr. Ford?”
Mitchell asked, Dr. Ford describes an incident when you covered her mouth with your hand. Have you ever covered Dr. Ford’s mouth with your hand?”
Mitchell asked: “Dr. Ford described an incident where you tried to remove her clothes. Have you ever tried to remove her clothes?”
Mitchell asked: “Referring back to the definition of sexual behavior that I have given you, have you ever at any time engaged in sexual behavior with Dr. Ford?”
Kavanaugh acknowledged he drank beer in high school, but he said it was never to the point of blacking out. “I’ve gone to sleep, but I’ve never blacked out. That’s the allegation, and that’s — that’s wrong,” he said.
Kavanaugh wasn’t the only person who grew emotional. His mother, Martha Kavanaugh, a judge, also appeared to be close to tears.
In one of his most emotional moments, Kavanaugh said his young daughter said during family prayer time, “We should pray for the woman.” Breaking up, he said, “It’s a lot of wisdom from a 10 year old.” Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, also seemed near tears as she was often on camera sitting behind Brett Kavanaugh during the testimony.
Kavanaugh said, “I drank beer with my friends… I liked beer, I still like beer, but did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Kavanaugh also said he has given the committee detailed calendars he kept in high school that show he was not at a party most weekends. “My dad kept keeping detailed calendars of his life in 1978. He did so as a calendar and a diary. He’s a very organized guy to put it mildly,” he said.
Kavanaugh called the hearing a “grotesque and coordinated character assassination” that will “dissuade competent and good people from all persuasions” from serving their country on the U.S. Supreme Court.