Judge Brett Kavanaugh says he’s 100 percent certain the allegations leveled against him by three women are untrue. Earlier Thursday, Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told the same committee she is 100 percent certain Kavanaugh assaulted her when the two were in high school.
Kavanaugh entered the afternoon hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unenviable position of having to prove a negative — that he did not engage in a teenage sexual assault for which no evidence exists and that reportedly took place 36 years ago. Kavanaugh blamed a “frenzy on the left” for coming up with anything to obstruct his confirmation and called it “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
The judge predicted the consequences of his hearing will dissuade others from seeking nomination to the federal and high court bench.
“I have never sexually assaulted anyone,” a defiant Kavanaugh told the committee.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. You have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy,” he told senators.
Shortly after the hearing closed, President Donald Trump tweeted Kavanaugh’s praises and dubbed the process one of “search and destroy,” a phrase quickly echoed by Republican senators.
Combative and loud, Kavanaugh came out swinging, but choked up during emotional testimony.
“When I was ten, my mom went to law school and overcame the sexual harassment so many women faced then and today,” Kavanaugh said through tears, adding his mother inspired him to be a lawyer and a judge and practiced her closing arguments in front of him.
“Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?” he recalled her asking.
“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed,” Kavanaugh testified in his opening statement. “I may not win but you will never get me to quit. Never.”
The nominee repeatedly refused to call for an FBI investigation of the allegations he swears are false.
Kavanaugh referenced a calendar kept as a teen to bolster his claim that he did not attend a party where Ford says she was forced into a room by Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge.
The young men Ford says were at the party are all high school friends of Kavanaugh, according to his testimony.
“Her longtime friend Ms. (Leland) Keyser said under penalty of felony that she does not know me and does not believe she ever saw me at a party,” Kavanaugh said of the friend with whom Ford says she attended the party. Kavanaugh later said he was familiar with Keyser and would not rule out the possibility the two had crossed paths.
Kavanaugh said he intended no ill will toward Ford, noting his youngest daughter suggested the family “pray for the woman. That’s a lot of wisdom from a ten-year-old.”
The judge said the alleged attack “presumably happened on the weekend. If it was a weekend my calendars show I was out of town almost every weekend night before football camp started in August.”
“I’ve submitted detailed calendars for the summer of 1982,” he noted. “Why did I keep calendars? My dad started keeping detailed calendars of his life in 1978. He’s a very organized guy to put it mildly.”
“I never had sexual intercourse or anything close to it in high school or for many years after it.” Kavanaugh told the committee.
Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend who Ford says witnessed the alleged assault, declined to appear before the committee.
“He was a friend at Georgetown Prep starting in 9th grade,” Kavanaugh said of Judge.”He was someone in our group. We were a friendly group. Funny guy. Great writer. Popular. He developed a serious addiction problem that lasted decades. He was near death at times from his addiction.”
The nominee was unable to say whether Bart O’Kavanaugh, a stumbling drunk character in a book written by Judge, is based on young Kavanaugh.
“You’d have to ask him,” Kavanaugh replied.
Several Democratic senators over the course of the afternoon said they would like to ask Judge questions. Republican senators have indicated no interest in issuing a subpoena for Judge.
California Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein noted all three women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct have asked for an FBI investigation.
“If you’re very confident of your position why aren’t you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?” she asked.
Kavanaugh deferred to the desires of the committee.
Kavanaugh was asked extensively about his drinking.
“We drank beer. And so did the vast majority of people our age at the time. We drank beer and still do,” he said, denying he ever passed out.
Kavanaugh repeatedly and haltingly responded to questions from Democrats in a hostile tone, noting “this thing was sprung on me, you know.”
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham called the proceedings “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”
Kavanaugh refused to address allegations made by a Yale roommate that he was a heavy drinker and became belligerent as a result. Instead, he redirected his testimony to his academic career.
Kavanaugh wrapped up his testimony by stating he is 100 percent certain he did not assault the woman who says she’s 100 percent certain he did.
“No doubt in my mind. I’m 100 percent certain. I swear to God.”