Absolutely all bets are off at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Kavanaugh’s accuser

Absolutely all bets are off at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Kavanaugh’s accuser

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will face a Senate grilling after Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, testifies at a live hearing on Thursday.

The hearing serves as a culmination of a wild, ugly, and very public trial in the court of public opinion that has even Trump unsure of who did what.

Ford is one of a growing number of accusers who have requested FBI investigations into their claims against Kavanaugh. Regardless, the Senate still plans to vote on confirming Kavanaugh just one day after the hearing.

Going into this hearing, where only one accuser will be heard, Democrats have a roster of accusers willing to risk perjury.

Meanwhile, Republicans have a greater number of senators and time on their side. The only thing clear is that anything can happen.

Trump, at a wild press conference on Wednesday, vacillated between casting doubt on Ford’s accusations, testifying to Kavanaugh’s sterling reputation and intellect, blasting Democrats as con artists, and finally saying he could be convinced Ford was telling the truth during the hearing.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh in the White House in July 2018.
Alex Brandon/AP

While additional accusers have piled on to Kavanaugh, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley released documents on Wednesday that indicate the Senate Judiciary Committee interviewed not one, but two men who reportedly took responsibility Ford’s alleged 1982 sexual assault.

Last week, legal scholar Ed Whelan posited that a Kavanaugh look-alike could have assaulted Ford, though he later apologized for making the claim.

Democrats criticized lawyer and activist Michael Avenatti’s handling of additional Kavanaugh accusers as being a publicity stunt, but have now begun an earnest investigation into their claims.

Kavanaugh himself wrote the Senate Judiciary Committee a letter pleading his innocence and dismissing the charges against him.

In an interview with Fox News, Kavanaugh, with his wife by his side, detailed his sexual history and claimed to have not had sex, or anything close to it, until years after college.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley on Fox News.
Screenshot/Fox News

But despite the unrelenting firestorm in the media that’s brought forward grueling accounts from sexual assault survivors, Republicans in public and private remain confident that they can still confirm Kavanaugh.

However, with just months until the 2018 midterm elections — which appear increasingly make-or-break for Democrats trying to reverse the trend of Trump dominating politics — the Kavanaugh hearings have become even bigger than a simple confirmation vote.

Polling shows public support for Kavanaugh, and Trump, have plummeted over the last several weeks. Ford, Kavanaugh, and others connected to the vote have received death threats and had to take security measures as the hearing becomes vitriolic on all sides.

The hearing starts at 10 a.m. EST. Here’s how to watch it.

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