Speaking forcefully, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh began his testimony in front of the the Senate Judiciary Committee by stating that he had never sexually assaulted anyone.
“Not in high school, not in college, not today,” he said.
He said that his name and his family’s name had been “totally and permanently destroyed” since the allegations became public.
He was almost yelling as he read through his remarks, which he said he had drafted the night before and shown to only to a former clerk.
Though Kavanaugh began his opening statement with a defiant tone, adamantly claiming that he did not sexually assault Blasey Ford and attributing the allegations to a smear campaign pushed by Democrats, his tone changed as he continued. While he discussed his daughter and went into detail about his high school years, Kavanaugh became visibly emotional off-and-on, stopping to wipe away tears and take sips of water.
Kavanaugh told the committee that he was not at the party described by Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged Kavanaugh groped her at the gathering.
He brought up the statements that other alleged attendees at the party had made saying they didn’t remember the party, and he asked the committee to listen to the other statements put forward by his friends and colleagues backing his good character.
But he quickly focused on attacking Democrats. He said there had been a “frenzy on the left” to sink his nomination.
“This is a circus,” he said, calling it a “grotesque…character assassination.”
He called the first round of hearings an “embarrassment” and said they were at the very least just a “goof old fashioned attempt at Borking,” referring to Robert Bork, the judge who’s Supreme Court nomination was blocked by Democrats during the Reagan administration. He said this “onslaught of last minute allegations” did not “ring true.”
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh said.
His demeanor changed, however, when he talked about his daughter, who had told him that they should pray for Christine Blasey Ford.
“A lot of wisdom from a 10 year old,” he said, tearing up. He said he had no “ill will” toward Blasey Ford, and didn’t question that she was assaulted by some person at some time.
He regained his composure when he started talking about his career and his long tenure in the public eye, where he was subjected to FBI background check.
“Until last week no one ever accused me of any kind of sexual misconduct, no one ever,” Kavanaugh said.
He then turned to the “specifics” of Blasey Ford’s allegation.
“She and I did not travel in the same social circles” Kavanaugh said of Blasey Ford, while claiming her her account was not just “uncorroborated,” but “refuted.”
He started tearing up again as he discussed the calendar he provided to the committee, which he said he kept because he was inspired by his father’s own calendar-keeping habits.
He said he was only in D.C. on a few weekend nights, when he assumed the alleged party would have taken place, and walked through every entry for those nights. If the party in question took place on a weekend night in 1982, Kavanaugh said, “my calendar shows all but definitively that I was not there.”
In going into detail about the calendars and what he was up to during the summers in question, Kavanaugh seemed to be attempting to show how detailed his memory was from that time when compared to Blasey Ford’s hazy recollections of the circumstances that led to the alleged assault.
He said that the allegations were “radically inconsistent” with the person he’s shown himself to be over the years, while touting his many “close female friends” and rattling of some of their first names.
He addressed directly the suggestions he was a heavy drinker in his youth.
“I did not drink beer to the point to blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone,” he said.
He also brought up the high school yearbook that attracted scrutiny, and its mention of a female colleague of Kavanaugh, which some speculated was a derogatory allusion. Kavanaugh teared up again, as he said the reference “was not related to sex ” and was to “clumsily show affection,” while he praised the women in question.
As he headed towards the close of his remarks, Kavanaugh brought up the friends who have supported him as the allegations became public. He also touted his practice of hiring female law clerks, while also bringing up the female students he taught as a law professor.
He referenced the female basketball team he coaches at his daughter’s school and said that due to what some members of of the committee had “unleashed” he might never teach or coach again.
“I swear today under oath, before the Senate and the nation, before my family and God, I am innocent of this charge,” he said, concluding his opening remarks.
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