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Christine Blasey Ford confident, certain in first part of Kavanaugh testimony

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Christine Blasey Ford testimony
Christine
Blasey Ford prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary
Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill
September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who has accused
    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault,
    delivered emotional and steadfast testimony before the Senate
    Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
  • Ford said she is “100%” certain that Kavanaugh
    assaulted her — and that his friend Mark Judge was a witness to
    the attack. 
  • Democrats praised Ford’s courage, thanked her for coming
    forward, and criticized how Republicans have handled the
    multiple misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. 
  • The 11 Republicans on the committee — all of them men —
    said very little during Ford’s questioning, opting to turn
    their time over to the female prosecutor asking questions on
    their behalf.

Christine Blasey Ford delivered emotional testimony before the
Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in which she said she is
“100%” certain that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.

Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, at times
spoke with emotion in her voice and tears in her eyes, but
remained calm and stalwart through several hours of questions
from senators and an independent counsel, sex crimes
prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. 

Ford said repeatedly that she has absolutely no doubt that
Kavanaugh assaulted her — and that his friend Mark Judge was a
witness to the attack — and delivered a detailed account of the
incident.

At one point, Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois
Democrat, brought up the suggestion made by some Republicans and
their allies that Ford is confused about the identity of her
alleged assaulter. 

“I am asking you to address this new defense of mistaken identity
directly,” Durbin said. “Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty
do you believe Judge Kavanaugh assaulted you?”

Ford replied without hesitation, “100 percent.”

The witness’s experience as a psychologist was evident in many
moments throughout her testimony, particularly when she described
the anxiety and other long-term impacts the alleged assault had
on her. 

When Ford was asked how she knows it was Kavanaugh and not
another teenager who attacked her at the gathering, she
responded, “Just basic memory functions and also just the level
of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that sort of,
as you know, encodes — that neurotransmitter that codes memories
into the hippocampus and so the trauma-related experience is
locked there whereas other details kind of drift.”


Dianne Feinstein Christine Blasey Ford kavanaugh
Sen.
Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, the ranking member, speaks before
Christine Blasey Ford testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee
on Capitol Hill on September 27, 2018.

Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Democrats praise Ford’s ‘profound public service’

While the 11 Republicans on the committee — all of them men
— said very little during Ford’s questioning, opting to turn
their time over to Mitchell, every Democrat on the committee
praised Ford’s courage and thanked her for coming
forward. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, at one
point stated the obvious: “The senators on the other side of the
aisle have been silent.” He then quoted something his Republican
colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in his 2015 book about his
prosecutions of rape cases.

“I learned how much unexpected courage from a deep and
hidden place it takes for a rape victim or sexually abused child
to testify against their assailant,” Graham wrote.

Democrats also defended Ford at points during the
hearing.

“You are not on trial,” Sen. Kamala Harris, a former
prosecutor and California attorney general, told Ford after a
bout of questioning by Mitchell. 

‘She’s pleasing’: Republicans assess Ford’s
credibility

During breaks in the hearing, some GOP senators suggested to
reporters that they believe Ford to be credible. Senate Judiciary
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said that he found Ford
“pleasing.”

“I don’t find her un-credible. I think she’s an attractive – good
witness,” he said.

Notably, hosts and commentators on Fox News appeared to
sympathize with Ford.

“This was extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely
credible,” Fox News host Chris Wallace said during a
break in the hearing
, adding, “This is a disaster for the
Republicans.”

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