Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist at Stanford University and a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. today. Dr. Ford is the first accuser (of now at least five) to put forth allegations of sexual assault and/or misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, 53, the Supreme Court nominee who currently serves as a U.S. Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
While no one has a crystal ball to predict exactly what will happen during these proceedings, there are a few things we can definitely expect:
Ford will deliver a prepared statement.
Her written testimony includes precise details of when and where and under what circumstances she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1982, when both were students at different prep schools in Bethesda, Maryland.
Here’s an excerpt:
“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. I have described the events publicly before. I summarized them in my letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, and again in my letter to Chairman Grassley. I understand and appreciate the importance of your hearing from me directly about what happened to me and the impact it has had on my life and on my family.”
Read her statement in its entirety via The New York Times, CNN, or other mainstream media outlets.
Judge Kavanaugh will deliver a prepared statement in response.
Not surprisingly, his written testimony refutes what Ford says happened and basically reads as a general defense of his moral character.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Dr. Ford’s allegation dates back more than 36 years, to a party that she says occurred during our time in high school. I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that’s not why we are here today. What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.”
Read the full transcript of his statement on the Politico and CNBC websites, among others.
The all-male Republican membership of the Senate Judiciary Committee will bring in a female attorney—Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell–to lead the questioning of Ford because of the horrible optics.
“We have hired a female assistant to go on staff and ask these questions in a respectful and professional way,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, the ranking Republican on the committee, to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday night.
(You read that right: “assistant”. Even while trying to do the right thing, McConnell couldn’t avoid saying something sexist and degrading to women.)
Afterward, McConnell was ridiculed across all media for using the term “assistant” to describe a highly respected legal professional. But Mitchell’s presence at today’s hearing won’t change the fact that Ford will be testifying before committee Republicans—a bunch of old white men.
The hearing will be broadcast live at 10am on several major TV networks, including CNN, PBS, Fox News, and C-Span. USA Today, among many other newspapers, will live stream and/or live blog the event. You can also listen live on NPR or watch the hearing proceedings on Facebook and YouTube.
We believe Dr. Ford and stand with survivors.