Updated Sept. 27
President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the woman who accused him of sexual assault at a high school party appeared separately before a Senate committee on Thursday to share emotional and contradictory accounts of what happened decades ago.
“I believed he was going to rape me,” the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, told the committee in discussing her harrowing account of assault.
After the hearing ended, Mr. Trump praised Judge Kavanaugh, attacked Democrats and implored the Senate to vote.
“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting,” the president said on Twitter. “The Senate must vote!”
Several women have made accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. Here’s a guide to the latest coverage from The Times.
On Thursday, Dr. Blasey gave stirring testimony about the terror she felt on a summer day more than 30 years ago when, she said, a drunken teenage Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, tried to rip her clothes off and clapped his hand over mouth as she pleaded for help.
Sitting in the same seat a few hours later, Judge Kavanaugh delivered a blistering defense, denouncing a partisan “frenzy” bent on destroying his nomination, his family and his good name.
This week, The New Yorker reported that Deborah Ramirez, who works for the Boulder County housing department in Colorado and sits on the board of a domestic violence organization, said that Judge Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken college party. (Here’s our profile of her.)
Then, on Wednesday, Julie Swetnick, who has held a variety of public- and private-sector jobs, including working for federal government agencies, said that Judge Kavanaugh was “present” when she was raped at a high school party.
One name has come up in multiple accusations: Mark Judge, one of Judge Kavanaugh’s high school friends. Dr. Blasey and Ms. Swetnick have both named Mr. Judge as being present at the time. Here’s what we know about him.
In an anonymous letter sent to a Republican senator, a woman said her daughter witnessed Judge Kavanaugh drunkenly push her friend, whom he was dating, against a wall after they left a Washington bar one night in 1998.
Although he admitted on Wednesday to having regrets about his choices in high school, Judge Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations. He defended himself, tearfully and angrily, again at the Thursday hearing.
Rumors have also started circulating about the accusers’ allegations. We debunk five viral ones here.
The sensitivity of the situation, particularly in the #MeToo era, is not lost on the 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of them white men. They retained a female prosecutor to help question the witness at Thursday’s hearing. Here’s what we know about that prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, who ended up thoroughly questioning Dr. Blasey but barely cross-examining Judge Kavanaugh after Republican senators took back control.
The political stakes are high, with some Democrats hoping that the derailment of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation could buy them time to win back the Senate in the November midterm elections, and, consequently, gain control over the confirmation of Mr. Trump’s next nominee.
Many have seen parallels between the accusations facing Judge Kavanaugh today and the ones from Anita Hill, who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct during his Supreme Court confirmation process more than a quarter-century ago.
Read more about her testimony and key moments from Judge Thomas’s hearings, and listen to an episode from The Daily that revisits it. Ms. Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, weighed in herself, writing in a New York Times Op-Ed that, this time around, the Senate Judiciary Committee can “do better.”
Before the hearing advisers said that Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh faced different challenges. For Dr. Blasey, an unknown figure, details mattered. For Judge Kavanaugh, he needed to defend himself, but not attack his accuser.
We know, this is all a lot. Here’s how some are coping when the daily bombardment of news about sexual violence becomes overwhelming.
Melissa Gomez and Matthew Haag contributed reporting.