Angry Brett Kavanaugh denies Ford accusation, sees national disgrace

This image released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday Sept. 26 2018 in Washington shows Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's calendar from the Summer of 1982

This image released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday Sept. 26 2018 in Washington shows Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's calendar from the Summer of 1982

Trump's comments about his accusers drew swift reaction from an attorney for Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice", who says Trump made unwanted advances toward her, then defamed her by saying she lied about it.

While claiming to want to hear from her, they have also denied her agency, suggesting she is a pawn in what President Donald Trump has called a "big, fat con job" orchestrated by the Democrats.

"When I look at what's happened to the reputation of a great gentleman - a great intellect, a brilliant man, somebody that has a chance to be one of our great Supreme Court justices in history - intellectually, I think it's a shame", Trump said.

Swetnick said she was a victim of one of the gang rapes, but she did not allege that Kavanaugh or Judge attacked her.

Ford also insisted she had no political agenda in coming forward with her accusations, telling lawmakers, "I am an independent person and I am no one's pawn".

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing earlier this month was marred by dozens of protesters interrupting the hearing even before Ford's allegation became public. "I don't know who this is and this never happened", he said.

Mitchell's attempt to draw out a counter-narrative - mainly that Ford was coordinating with Democrats - was disrupted by the panel's decision to allow alternating five-minute rounds of questions from Democratic senators.

To avoid part of the minefield, all 11 male GOP senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee (there are no women) are expected to give their allotted time to an outside female lawyer, Rachel Mitchell, who has been hired to do their questioning.

Republicans largely expressed confidence in Mr Kavanaugh ahead of the hearing, emerging from a closed-door lunch with Vice President Mike Pence to say the nominee remains on track for confirmation.

But Blasey will also face scrutinizing and at times uncomfortable questioning about the episode, and she has already said that she can not remember the specific date or location of the assault. Ford added that she yelled and tried to get away as Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes.

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The committee also released a two-page prepared statement from Mr Kavanaugh for Thursday's hearing in which he "categorically and unequivocally" denied Ms Ford's allegation. This is 30 years after the alleged incident.

We'll be bringing you all the latest news as it comes in. Because I've had a lot of false charges made against me.

Kavanaugh, in prepared testimony released on Wednesday, repeated his denial of Blasey Ford's allegation and said "this effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out". First, we're going to hear from Chairman Charles Grassley. Since she came forward, Blasey and her family have received death threats and were forced to move out of their house.

FORD: (Reading) During my freshman and sophomore school years, when I was 14 and 15 years old, my group of friends intersected with Brett and his friends for a short period of time.

The president said it "wouldn't have mattered" to Democrats "if the Federal Bureau of Investigation came back with the cleanest score" if they had investigated the veracity of the claims of sexual assault and more against Kavanaugh.

Thursday's hearing on Capitol Hill drew widespread, passionate interest.

In this regard, the committee has also questioned Kavanaugh about a series of anonymous allegations, including a physical assault on a woman in the 1990s. Both actress Alyssa Milano - who has been an advocate for sexual assault survivors after speaking up about her own assault - and New York Democratic Sen. And, see Democrat Al Franken, who many rank-and-file Democrats think was treated unfairly when he was forced out of the Senate, by numerous people who will now vote on Kavanaugh.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, his voice rising in anger, called the hearing the "most unethical sham since I've been in politics".

The Senate, controlled 51-49 by Trump's fellow Republicans, must now decide whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh after the extraordinary almost nine-hour hearing.

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