Grassley interrupts Feinstein during her opening statement at Kavanaugh hearing

Grassley interrupts Feinstein during her opening statement at Kavanaugh hearing

Grassley interrupts Feinstein during her opening statement at Kavanaugh hearing

Julie Swetnick said in a statement released by her lawyer that the events took place at parties she attended while a high school student in suburban Maryland. Neither the senators on the Judiciary Committee nor the American people will be able to say that they have seen enough evidence to be able to judge these claims fairly, because the claims are allergic to evidence and the hearing itself is a farce. Grassley cut in to say that he had planned to introduce Ford himself after Feinstein said that she wanted to make sure that that Ford was "properly introduced" before testifying.

The committee also released a two-page prepared statement from Kavanaugh for Thursday's hearing in which he "categorically and unequivocably" denies Ford's allegation. "I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes (a sedative) or something similar placed in what I was drinking", she said.

Judge Kavanaugh has yet to respond formally to this specific allegation.

Swetnick said, in the document given to the Senate committee, she "witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to "target" particular girls so they could be taken advantage of; it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy".

But Trump said he was open to withdrawing the nomination, depending on what happens at the hearing.

Ford and Kavanaugh will appear separately before the 21-member Senate panel, comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Ford was seated at a table in the packed hearing room flanked by her lawyers, facing a bank of senators.

While Trump has wondered if he was well-advised to choose Kavanaugh, he now believes that Republicans must fight back harder, mindful of the message it would send to his supporters if the GOP-controlled Senate can not help him get another conservative jurist on the high court.

"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.

In both instances, a respected and successful female professor reluctantly came forward with "11th-hour" allegations of past sexual misconduct against a Republican nominee to the high court.

"They go into the back room and talk to each other and laugh at what they're getting away with", 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.

"It's happened to me many times", he said, claiming he had been accused - falsely - by "four or five women".

Ford relayed her most vivid memory of the alleged incident, while also relying on her advanced education in psychology.

Mr Trump nominated Mr Kavanaugh, 53, to the high court on July 9.

But on Thursday night, the committee revealed they had conducted interviews with a man, whose identity remains unknown, who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982.

"I tried to yell for help", Ford testified.

He said his wife was "afraid" Trump would nominate Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and was "very conflicted" about whether she should come forward with her story.

Throughout the morning, protesters were scattered across the Capitol, including supporters of both Kavanaugh and Ford.

Deborah Ramirez, from Colorado, revealed in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine on September 23 that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken encounter at a dormitory party during the 1983-84 academic year when they were both students at Yale University.

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