- Nominee and first accuser go before judiciary committee
- Third woman accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
- Mark Judge: author, Kavanaugh’s schoolfriend … witness?
As Lauren has mentioned, a key dynamic in this hearing is going to the performance of the Republican appointed counsel, Rachel Mitchell. All 11 Republicans on the judiciary committee are men. Four out of the 10 Democrats on the committee, including ranking member Dianne Feinstein, are women.
A number of the Republicans were also present on the committee in 1991 when law professor Anita Hill’s testified over sexual harassment allegations against conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Thomas was eventually confirmed to the court - in a 52-48 vote - but Republicans will be keen to avoid the optics of Hill’s testimony from decades ago, where she faced a hostile interrogation for hours before an all male panel.
Look for a new face in Washington to take a high profile at the proceedings at the behest of Senate Republicans. She is Rachel Mitchell, a Republican from Arizona with decades of experience prosecuting sex crimes.
Mitchell works in the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Phoenix as the chief of the special victims division. She supervises attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and computer crimes against children in Arizona’s most populous county.
My colleague Lauren Gambino has filed this report on the unique format of today’s hearing and what’s at stake for both sides:
Each senator will have five minutes to question each witness. There are only two witnesses: Ford and Kavanaugh. Ford will testify first followed by Kavanaugh.
In the days leading up to this hearing president Donald Trump has stood behind his nominee, describing him on Twitter as a “fine man, with an impeccable reputation”. Trump had repeatedly called into question the trustworthiness of Ford and the other women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct but, on Wednesday, appeared to slightly soften his support.
During a rambling press conference at the United Nations acknowledged that accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him affect his views on charges against other men.
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the crucial Senate judiciary committee hearing in Washington DC.
Dr Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, is due to testify before the committee at 10am ET. Ford has accused Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in the early 1980s.
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