Christine Blasey Ford speaks out at Kavanaugh hearing: Live updates

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ABC NEWS- Now underway, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are set to face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. Their testimonies will draw into sharp relief the complicated nexus of politics and the #MeToo movement.

The stakes are high: a lifetime appointment to the swing seat on the Supreme Court. And with just 40 days until the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans in Congress know that women will be watching, both as voters and as candidates.

The hearing began with statements from Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

The Republicans are expected to yield their time to their outside counsel, Arizona attorney and former sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell.

Ford and Kavanaugh won’t be face-to-face during the testimony.

In the time since Ford’s story was made public, two other women have also come forward with allegations. Kavanaugh has swiftly and repeatedly denied allegations through Wednesday afternoon.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied each allegation, most publicly in an interview on Fox News Monday night.

Follow along with ABC News as the high stakes hearing unfolds:


12:15 p.m.: The first contentious moment of the day

After Sen. Klobuchar asked to submit Ford’s polygraph test results to the record, Ford’s lawyer interjected to tell the committee chairman that the legal team proposed having the polygraph examiner testify, a request he rejected.

“We’ll accept, without objection, what you have asked to include,” Grassley stated. “We’re also requesting and expect the other materials I stated.”

Klobuchar noted, “Mr. Chairman, you wouldn’t allow the underlying witness who performed the polygraph test to testify, nor would you allow mark judge to testify. So I would just like to point out, thank you for allowing the report in the record but that is the reason that we don’t have the underlying information for you.”

“You got what you wanted and I think you would be satisfied,” Grassley said.

“I am satisfied,” Klobuchar replied.

12:14 p.m.: Trump ponders prosecutor’s effectiveness: Source

A source close to Trump says they’re not sure this prosecutor is being effective as they hoped, according to ABC News John Santucci.

11:47 a.m.: The hearing resumes

The Republicans, still yielding to Mitchell, begin their questioning after the brief break about where the location of the gathering was relative to her house, and how Ford returned home after the alleged incident.

Displaying a map of the distance between her parent’s home and the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Mitchell asked: “We calculated the distance from the closest point to your house from a mile radius of the country club, and then the farthest point. You can see it’s 6.2 and of course 8.2 miles. And you’ve described this as being near the country club, wherever this house was. Is that right?”

“I would describe it as somewhere between my house and the country club in that vicinity that’s shown in your picture.”

After confirming that it would be “fair to say” that someone drove her to or from the party, as Mitchell put it, Ford admitted that no one came forward as the person who drove her.

11:45 a.m.: Trump, along with the rest of the country, is watching

Upon landing in Washington, press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that the president was watching Ford’s testimony.

She added that the president has not spoken to Kavanaugh today.

A close ally and friend of the president tells ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, “If you want her to be compelling, I guess it is.”

11:30 a.m.: Committee enters 15-minute break

Before gavelling for a 15-minute break, Grassley’s anger towards how Ford’s allegation was handled by Democrats was apparent.

“I cannot let it go by what you’ve heard me say so many times that between July 30th and September 13th there were 45 days this committee could have been investigating this situation and her privacy would have been protected,” he said.

Follow along with ABC News as the high stakes hearing unfolds:



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