She's positive it happened. That's one big theme emerging from Christine Blasey Ford's highly anticipated testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ford told senators she has no doubt that it was Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who accosted her on a bed at a party in 1982. CNN takes note of an early exchange between Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Ford. "So what you're telling us is this could not be a case of mistaken identity?" said Feinstein. "Absolutely not," Ford responded. And later, to Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin, Ford said she was "100% certain" it was Kavanaugh. The judge, who testifies later in the day, has adamantly denied the allegation. Other points:
- Ford's opening statement: "I believed he was going to rape me," Ford said of Kavanaugh in her opening statement. The encounter "drastically altered my life," said Ford, whose emotional testimony seemed to rivet senators, reports the Washington Post. NPR has her full statement, released in advance, here.
- 'I'm very sorry': Senate Republicans hired a woman—sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell from Arizona's Maricopa County—to question Christine Blasey Ford at Thursday's hearing, and NBC News notes that Mitchell's first comments to Ford had a conciliatory tone. Noting that Ford said in her opening remarks that she was "terrified," Mitchell said, "I just wanted to let you know, I'm very sorry. That's not right."
- Grassley's charge: Panel Chairman Charles Grassley lashed out at how Democrats, particularly Feinstein, have handled the situation. "These allegations could've been investigated in a way that maintained the confidentiality" sought by Ford, he said. "This is a shameful way to treat our witness who insisted on confidentiality."
- Details: When Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Ford what she remembered of the night in question, Ford responded: "The stairwell, the living room, the bedroom, the bed on the right side of the room—as you walk into the room, there was a bed to the right—the bathroom in close proximity, the laughter, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so."
- Laughter: When Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked her what she remembered most about the incident, Ford (a psychologist) responded: "Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense," she said, referring to Kavanaugh and friend Mark Judge. Ford alleges both were present in the room with her.
- Kavanaugh's opening statement: Read it here. "These are last-minute smears, pure and simple," he says of his accusers.
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