Global

First vote on embattled USA court nominee after fraught hearing

First vote on embattled USA court nominee after fraught hearing

Christine Blasey Ford has said US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as he and a friend shared "uproarious laughter" in a locked room at a 1980s high school gathering.

Kavanaugh has categorically denied all of the allegations against him and is also scheduled to testify on Thursday to rebut Ford and the other women who have since come forward.

Even Mark Judge, who Ford says was in the bedroom when Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, has not denied that such an episode took place.

"For 12 years, everyone who has appeared before me on the D.C. Circuit has praised my judicial temperament", Kavanaugh said Thursday during his combative testimony.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began meeting early Friday and was expected to narrowly vote in favor of Donald Trump's pick after key Republican Jeff Flake said he would back the judge, whose nomination would swing the high court solidly to the right.

Trump had a more formal reaction after the hearing, tweeting that Kavanaugh delivered a "powerful, honest, and riveting" performance, and demanding Senate confirmation. Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist.

"To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics", he said.

"This confirmation process has become a national disgrace". Kavanaugh said that the allegations-all three of them-were false and have irreparably damaged his reputation and damaged his family life.

Ford has said Kavanaugh trapped her on a bed and tried undressing her, grinding his body against her and muffling her cries with her hand. He said Kavanaugh has the potential of becoming one of America's "greatest" and cast doubt on Ford's allegations and said they were part of a plan to ruin Kavanaugh's candidacy.

In an August note Ford wrote in advance of a polygraph exam she took at the direction of her lawyers, she maintained that "there were 4 boys and a couple of girls" at the party, again contradicting her letter to Feinstein in July.

Avenatti Circus Throws Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation into Chaos
Trump said he was "OK with that", but again defended Kavanaugh as a "gem" and said that Democrats are treating him unfairly. She said that Kavanaugh's declaration of "innocence" and lack of sexual inactivity in high school on Fox News is a lie.

In his testimony to the Senate Committee, Kavanaugh blasted the Democrats for destroying his good name.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told Kavanaugh during the hearings, "you've got nothing to apologize for", said if Democrats truly wanted an FBI investigation, they could have spoken up when Democratic Sen. "I like beer", he said, but he also said he had never passed out and never attacked Ms Ford.

Trump nominated the conservative jurist in what was supposed to be an election year capstone to the GOP agenda, locking in the court's majority for years to come. "Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened". I am called "evil" by a Democratic member of this committee... Democrats are likely to grill Kavanaugh on all of their allegations and the corroborations from some of their friends and classmates, as well as his drinking habits in high school and college.

White House officials believe Kavanaugh's passionate denials of Ford's claims, including the judge's tearful description of the impact the accusations had on his family, met the challenge.

Democrats have rallied strongly behind Ms Ford.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, told Blasey Ford he found her testimony "powerful and credible".

A Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, said he "found no reason to find (Blasey Ford) not credible".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC also mentioned the ABA's assessment during an impassioned defense of Kavanaugh on Thursday.

As to whether he had a message for undecided senators like Collins and Murkowski, Trump said "they have to do what they think is right" and be comfortable with themselves. Now, Whitman hopes Collins will consider how a yes vote on Kavanaugh will affect her if she seeks reelection in 2020 and, if she doesn't run, how the vote will affect her political legacy.