In Brief

Who was telling the truth at the Brett Kavanaugh hearing?

Senate committee descends into barbed partisan attacks as accuser gives testimony

In another chaotic day in Washington, Donald Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court was again forced to vehemently deny allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl at a drunken party in 1982.

Kavanaugh’s accuser, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford (pictured above), appeared before the senate judiciary committee to give evidence that she was “100% certain” that it was Kavanaugh who, in the company of his best friend Mark Judge, attempted to rape her.

However, before Ford’s testimony began, the hearing descended into partisan bickering between Republican and Democrat members of the committee, who argued over the timing of the complaint surfacing, as well as the hearing process itself.

“Many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have also made it clear that no matter what happens today, the Senate will plow right through [with Kavanaugh’s nomination],” senior Democrat Diane Feinstein said.

Republican members of the committee took the unusual step of forgoing individual opportunities to ask questions of Ford, instead recruiting a female Republican prosecutor, Rachel Mitchel, to handle the bulk of the questioning.

There were obvious differences between Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony to the committee, The Guardian says, with Ford’s answer’s showing “courage, decency and honesty”.

The contrast in tone between her and Kavanaugh “could not have been greater”, the newspaper said in a separate report, noting that Kavanaugh “repeatedly shouted during his opening remarks”, describing the hearing as “a circus” and “a national disgrace”.

Kavanaugh also repeatedly deflected questions from Democrats over whether he was prepared to ask for or back an FBI investigation into Ford’s claims throughout his testimony.

While the fallout from yesterday’s senate committee hearing is yet to be known, Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake could emerge as a “crucial swing vote” when the committee votes tomorrow on whether to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to full senate ballot, USA Today reports.

Speaking to reporters at the end of yesterday’s hearing, Flake – who has spoken out against Trump in the past and who declined to ask any questions during Thursday's proceedings – told reporters: “She was certainly a compelling person. She gave good testimony.”

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