The historic Senate hearing featuring dueling testimony from u.s. supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and university professor Dr Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, has arguably left Washington even more bitterly divided than it was before.
Kavanaugh said he did not watch Blasey Ford's testimony but he categorically denied her allegations. The focus remains on at least five Republicans who said they would withhold judgment until after the hearing.
Kavanaugh has also been accused of sexual misconduct by Deborah Ramirez, who told The New Yorker Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a party at Yale University. Ford said several GoFundMe Inc. sites had been established to help her pay her bills, but she hadn't yet tallied the costs or figured out how to access the donations.
"This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics", said Senator Lindsey Graham of SC. The Senate must vote!More news: Heads of state 'were laughing with me,' not at me
For an audience of one in the Oval Office, Kavanaugh's fate seemed to become more secure as the day went on. In her opening statement on Thursday, Ford said, "Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy", Ford said.
In her three hours of testimony, Ford's tone was polite but firm as she detailed her accusations but offered no major new revelations.
"I believed he was going to rape me."".
Facts of the case aside, the psychology professor's comments before lawmakers in Washington square with what we know about how traumatic memories can be seared into the brains of sexual assault victims.More news: UN Assembly Laughs as Trump Touts Achievements
Ms Ford told the top committee Democrat, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, that she had "agonised daily" over coming forward about the alleged decades-old attack.
During a break in the hearing, some of Kavanaugh's strongest supporters gave no indications of wavering.
Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, both "visibly drunk", pushed her into an upstairs room at the party and locked the door. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked to what degree of certainty she believed Kavanaugh assaulted her. Kavanaugh vowed that "I have never done this ever, done this to her or anyone else". They later announced that they still meant to vote Friday on Kavanaugh. "Without an investigation, and with so many serious issues involved, I can't support this nomination if they choose to move forward", he said in a statement. "To my Republican colleagues", he shouted, voice cracking and visibly exercised about the public excavation of Kavanaugh's high school days and allegations against him, "If you vote no, you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I've seen in my time in politics".
Blasey Ford said she had no political motivations.More news: Paul Pogba wants return to Italian club Juventus
Graham also questioned whether Ford's attorneys were politically motivated.