Emotionally battling to rescue his Supreme Court nomination, a beleaguered Brett Kavanaugh fought back Thursday against allegations that he’d sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when both were high school students, telling Congress that allegations by her and others have “totally and permanently destroyed” his family and his reputation.
In a loud voice, the conservative jurist told the Senate Judiciary Committee that his confirmation process had become “a national disgrace.”
“You have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy,'” he said.
Kavanaugh denied Ford’s allegation that he’d trapped her on a bed in a locked room during a gathering of friends when they were teenagers, saying, “I have never done this to her or to anyone.”
With his support among Senate Republicans in question, he also said he would not step side.
“You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit, never.”
Behind him in the audience, his wife, Ashley, sat looking stricken. He himself was close to tears when he mentioned his mother and daughter and, later, his father.
Earlier, Ford declared Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as he and a friend shared “uproarious laughter” in a locked room at a 1980s high school gathering, recounting her allegations to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a riveted nation in a drama that threatens to derail Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
Her account, delivered in a soft and sometimes-halting voice, came as the Judiciary panel began an extraordinary session that Republicans hope will let them salvage Kavanaugh’s chances of joining the high court. She showed no hesitancy in affirming the crucial question about the alleged incident, telling senators her certainty that Kavanaugh was her attacker was “100 percent.”
“I believed he was going to rape me,” Ford said, adding that she believed Kavanaugh would accidentally kill her when he covered her mouth to stifle a cry for help.