"Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him", President Donald Trump crowed via twitter, literally as his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was leaving the room after Senate Judiciary Committee testimony Thursday.
In her written testimony submitted Wednesday, Ford pushed back against Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who have cast her as part of a smear campaign meant to thwart Kavanaugh's confirmation.
There are now 43 Republicans who have pledged their vote to Kavanaugh, seven short of the 50 votes needed in the Senate. According to the Washington Post, he was riveted and pleased by the judge's Thursday testimony.
Republicans argue that pleas by Democrats for an FBI investigation are just an effort to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation vote past the 2018 midterm elections. On the Senate Judiciary Committee he praised the judge and seemed to indicate he would vote for him.
They come against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement and the hearing included sharp exchanges between Republicans and Democrats mirroring the atmosphere of bitter political partisanship in Washington.
Two senators who emerged from the closed-door meeting said the Judiciary Committee will hold a vote Friday as scheduled. The committee is now comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, leaving the majority with little margin for error - if just one Republican breaks, the nomination will be left in limbo.
"I will have to listen to the testimony before I make up my mind about the testimony", he said.
"I am innocent of this charge", Kavanaugh thundered.
Still, even many Republicans who believed Ford was honestly recounting what happened to her took the view that it was a case of mistaken identity, believing Kavanaugh's emotional testimony that was not there and did not attack her. "I have never done this to her or to anyone", he said.
Ford broke her silence after 36 years, telling senators she originally wished to remain anonymous but once her story became public, she believed it was her "civic duty" to come forward.
Prosecutor to Ford: I'm 'Very Sorry' You Feel 'Terrified'
But, he added: "There is nothing in this process to make me comfortable that this process is about fairness, truth and evidence". She is a respected career sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona, who began Thursday's hearings by striking a sympathetic tone.
Ford said she later allowed Eshoo's office to forward the letter and a request for confidentiality to Sen. "Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes". "I tried to yell for help".
Kavanaugh also allegedly put his hand over Ford's mouth so she could not scream.
"The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation", Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker tweeted. "This is a circus".
"My family and my name have been permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations", Kavanaugh said. He decried his confirmation opposition as a "national disgrace".
Manchin is up for re-election this fall in a state Donald Trump won overwhelmingly and supported Trump's last Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. "You may defeat me in the final vote but you'll never get me to quit". "It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court".
Kavanaugh was responding to questions from Democratic Sen.
Ms Ford replied: "The same way I'm talking to you right now".
Earlier in the week, Trump had privately told aides and confidants that he was disappointed in Kavanaugh's Fox News interview, which he'd viewed as lackluster and weak, and was eager to see his nominee mount a forceful and indignant defense of himself.
"I just wanted to let you know, I'm very sorry".
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