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Trump Supreme Court nominee’s accuser says she feared being raped, killed

Trump Supreme Court nominee’s accuser says she feared being raped, killed

Trump Supreme Court nominee’s accuser says she feared being raped, killed
September 27
19:54 2018

A female university professor has detailed her allegations that US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, sexually assaulted her 36 years ago during a momentous congressional hearing that could determine whether Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the lifetime job at the nation’s top court.

Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that during the alleged incident at a gathering of teenagers when she and Kavanaugh were high school students in the state of Maryland that she thought Kavanaugh was going to rape her and perhaps accidentally kill her.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by two other women as well. He has denied all the allegations.

While Trump and some Republican Party lawmakers have said called the allegations by Ford and two other women against Kavanaugh part of a smear campaign, Ford told the committee, “I am an independent person and I am no pawn.”

The hearing, which has engaged Americans and intensified the political polarization in the United States, occurred amid the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

Ford and Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge picked by Trump in July for a lifetime job on the high court, were the only two witnesses scheduled to testify for the Judiciary Committee.

“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,” Ford said, reading from her prepared testimony, her voice breaking with emotion.

Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, was seated at a table in the packed hearing room flanked by her lawyers, facing a row of senators.

She said a drunken Kavanaugh attacked her and tried to remove her clothing at a gathering of teenagers in Maryland when he was 17 years old and she was 15.

“Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was very inebriated and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothing. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help,” Ford said, adding that Kavanaugh and a friend of his were “drunkenly laughing during the attack.”

Ford said that when she tried to yell out, he put his hand over her mouth. She said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh and another boy in the room fell off the bed.

Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor hired by Republicans to query Ford, opened her questioning by sympathizing with Ford. “The first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you are terrified. And I just wanted to let you know, I’m very sorry. That’s not right,” Ford said.

Republican Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at the opening of the hearing that he wanted it to be “safe comfortable and dignified for both of our witnesses.” He decried the “media circus” around the allegations against Kavanaugh and said the nominee and Ford had been through a terrible couple of weeks since Ford leveled her accusation.

“What they have endured ought to be considered by all of us as unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy,” Grassley said. “So I want to apologize to you both for the way you’ve been treated.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from the state of California and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in her opening statement that sexual violence is a serious problem in the United States “and one that goes largely unseen.

“What I find most inexcusable is this rush to judgment, the unwillingness to take these kinds of allegations at face value and look at them for what they are: a real question of character for someone who is asking for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said.

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