WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexual assaulting her in high school, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the country’s highest court also stood firm in his denial of sexual misconduct brought by a total of five women after the judge’s confirmation hearing had concluded.
WATCH: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee, Part 1
WATCH: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee, Part 2
WATCH: Judge Brett Kavanaugh Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee
Kavanaugh’s Turn At The Hearing
Kicking off his opening statements, a charged Kavanaugh flatly denied Ford’s allegations against him.
“My name and my family have been permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations,” Kavanaugh said. He said the process and the Supreme Court have been damaged in the process, slamming the confirmation as a ” national disgrace.”
Kavanaugh called the allegations against him a “grotesque and coordinated character assassination” that will “dissuade competent and good people from all persuasions” from serving the country.
The judge suggested that the last two weeks of the confirmation process has been a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” that he claims is out of outrage over the 2016 presidential election.
“What comes around comes around. I am an optimistic guy. I always try to be on the sunrise side of the mountain, to be optimistic about the day that is coming,” Kavanaugh said. “But today I have to say that I fear for the future.”
Recounting his daughter asking her father to include Dr. Ford in their prayers , Kavanaugh broke down in tears in the hearing.
“Little Liza, all of 10 years old, said to Ashley, ‘We should pray for the woman,'” he recalled.
CBS News’ Jack Turman reports that Republican senators in the room, namely Cornyn and Graham, looked distraught as Kavanaugh became emotional.
Kavanaugh later said explaining the process to his daughters has been “about the worst experience of our lives.”
“My dad kept keeping detailed calendars of his life in 1978. He did so as a calendar and a diary. He’s a very organized guy to put it mildly,” he explained, fighting back tears.
He said that he’s kept calendars for over 30 years. Kavanaugh said his record-keeping in high school shows that he was not present at a party on a weekend, if that is what Ford is alleging. He maintained that his timeline, compared to Ford’s, does not match up in placing him at a party.
Kavaunagh conceded, however that that calendars are “not dispositive on their own.”
“I drank beer with my friends, sometimes I had too beers, sometimes others did, I liked beer, I still like beer, but did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone,” said Kavanaugh of his past experiences of drinking in high school.
On his behavior, namely his yearbook references to keg parties and alleged sexual encounters, Kavanaugh suggested it was emblematic of the times where movies like Animal House, Caddy Shack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High were popular.
On his sexual past, Kavanaugh said “this is not a topic I’d ever imagine would come up in a judicial confirmation hearing.” Kavanaugh maintained he never had sexual intercourse “or anything close to it” during high school or many years after that. He considered himself to be “outwardly shy about my inexperience” which he said he tried to hide. “I was inwardly proud of it” citing his commitment to his faith.
When asked by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein whether he would want an FBI investigation, as Ford does, Kavanaugh deflected. He said that he wanted to testify before the Senate immediately.
“Instead, ten days passed, where all this nonsense is coming out,” he said, referring to additional allegations since Ford came forward. “It’s an outrage that I was not allowed to come immediately.”
He also said that an FBI investigation would not be able to come to any specific conclusions. He also denied allegations by Julie Swetnick of sexual misconduct.
“The Swetnick thing is a joke,” Kavanaugh said.
“Would you like to say more about it?” Feinstein asked.
“No,” Kavanaugh replied.
After The Hearing
Republican senators have reportedly decided that the Judiciary Committee will vote Friday morning on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
President Trump voiced his support for Kavanaugh immediately following the close of Thursday’s hearing. Trump called the Supreme Court nominee’s testimony “powerful” and again slammed Democrats for allegedly staging the sudden surge of assault claims against Kavanaugh.
Before The Hearing
During an 80-minute press conference Wednesday night, President Trump said he wants to hear Ford and Kavanaugh testify before he makes any decisions about his nominee’s future.
“I can always be convinced. I have to hear it,” he said.
Asked whether there’s a scenario under which he might withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination, the president replied, “If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah, sure.”
The 21 senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee will each get five minutes to question Ford and another five for Kavanaugh. However, they plan to cede most of their time to Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, hired to be the face of the Republican Party during the hearing when she questions both Ford and Kavanaugh. Democrats will ask their own questions.
“I’d like to see Dr. Ford treated as if she were my daughter, but I’d like to see Judge Kavanaugh treated as if he were my son,” Sen. John Kennedy said.
In her prepared testimony released ahead of the hearing, Ford says, “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.”
Ford revealed her identity 11 days ago in an interview with The Washington Post. She had anonymously sent a letter to the Senate committee earlier in the summer listing her allegations.
“I was never at any such party,” Kavanaugh said in an interview with his wife earlier this week.
In his prepared remarks, Kavanaugh says, “I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.” He has also denied all allegations put forward by other women.
In a sworn statement, 55-year-old Julie Swetnick alleges that in high school, Kavanaugh would “drink excessively” and “engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls.”
“He has never met this woman. He doesn’t know miss Swetnick. He didn’t go to parties with her, and we already have – I’ve received calls, myself, from women and men who went to high school with him, no one knows this woman,” Kavanaugh’s attorney, Beth Wilkinson said.
Kavanaugh says the allegation is “from the Twilight Zone” and it “never happened.”