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Kavanaugh: Confirmation Process Is Now 'National Disgrace'

His testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee has begun
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2018 2:43 PM CDT
Updated Sep 27, 2018 3:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – Christine Blasey Ford is done testifying, and now Brett Kavanaugh has begun his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court nominee, speaking in what CNN refers to as a "stern, aggressive tone," once again denied Ford's allegation that he sexually assaulted her in 1982. "This confirmation process has become a national disgrace," he said. "The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process. But you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy." He later got emotional and teared up at times when discussing his family. Watch this space for updates:

  • Destroyed: Kavanaugh said in his opening statement that since Ford came forward, "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations," per Talking Points Memo.
  • Daughter: One of the emotional moments from Kavanaugh came when he mentioned that his 10-year-old daughter told him, "We should pray for the woman." "It's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old," Kavanaugh said, noting that he bears Ford no ill will.

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  • Diaries: Kavanaugh brought along his calendar from 1982, which he also used as a diary, tearing up when he explained how his father's practice of keeping a calendar/diary inspired him to do the same. Reading from the detailed entries, he said he was not at any gathering like the one Ford describes. (Video here.) He later told Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor the GOP brought on to ask questions at the hearing, that he had not made any changes to the entries since 1982.
  • Drinking: While discussing his activities in high school and college, Kavanaugh said multiple times that while there may have been times he or his friends had "too many beers," he never blacked out. Asked by Mitchell what he considers "too many beers," he responded, "I don't know. Whatever the chart says. Blood alcohol chart." Asked if he had ever passed out after drinking, he said, "Passed out would be, no. I've gone to sleep, but I've never blacked out."
  • Speaking of those "additional" accusations: Under questioning from Dianne Feinstein, Kavanaugh referred to Julie Swetnick, the third accuser to come forward against him. "The Swetnick thing is a joke. It is a farce," he said. Feinstein asked him if he'd like to say more about it, to which he responded in what TPM refers to as a "defiant" tone, simply "No."

  • Mark Judge: When asked about Mark Judge, the friend of Kavanaugh's Ford says was present during the alleged sexual assault, Kavanaugh was asked whether the character of "Bart O'Kavanaugh," depicted throwing up in someone's car in Judge's book Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, was based on Kavanaugh. "You'd have to ask [Judge]," Kavanaugh said. "Mark Judge ... developed a very serious drinking problem, an addiction problem, that lasted decades and was very difficult for him to escape from. He nearly died. ... As part of his therapy, or part of his coming to grips with sobriety, he wrote a book, that is a fictionalized book, or account" of his youth, Kavanaugh said, noting that his understanding was that Judge used names that were close to his friends' names in the book. The Huffington Post notes that Republicans declined to subpoena Judge to testify.
  • "Stop the clock": Sen. Dick Durbin said that since Kavanaugh has said he welcomes any type of investigation necessary, he should turn to White House counsel Don McGahn and ask him to suspend the hearing until an FBI investigation is completed. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley then demanded the clock be stopped so he could reprimand Durbin: "This committee is running this hearing. ... We're not suspending this hearing."
(Read more Brett Kavanaugh stories.)

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