Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testify on sex assault allegations
As Senator Lindsey Graham was heading to the elevator after a lengthy and angry exchange with us reporters trailing him in the hallway, a young woman approached him. She was waiting for him by the elevator.
This was their exchange we saw and heard on video:
Woman: “Senator Graham, I was raped 13 years ago.”
Graham: “I’m so sorry.”
Woman: “I don’t remember the exact date, but do you believe me?”
Graham: “You needed to go to the cops. Go to the cops.”
See the moment:
Rachel Mitchell, the lawyer who is asking questions for the Senate Republicans on the committee, again asked Christine Blasey Ford about the polygraph test she took in August and who paid for it.
One of her lawyers, Debra Katz, jumped in.
"Her lawyers have paid for her polygraph," Katz said.
"As is routine," another one of her lawyers added.
"As is routine," Katz repeated.
The halls and elevators of the Dirksen Senate Office Building are full of protesters, sending silent messages scrawled on tape, signs and their bodies.
Outside, protesters - -and Kavanaugh supporters -- are much more vocal.
CNN affiliate WJLA's Richard Reeve captured the back and forth.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, casting doubt on Ford's allegation, told reporters that he still thinks the committee should vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination Friday after today's testimony.
Graham later added:
"She seems like, something happened to this woman, but the question for me is I’ve got a man who’s lived I think an incredibly productive life adamantly denying it and a lot of the details, I don’t know how you fill them in. I don’t know how she got there or how she left but somebody brought her there, somebody took her away and the trauma that happened on that day and that place that’s an important event for me."
Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum responded to the morning testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, saying she seemed "authentic."
"Just watching her, she seems authentic," Santorum said, "And that's a big problem for Brett Kavanuagh ... Sometimes pawns can take kings."
Christine Blasey Ford said she's not sure who paid for the lie detector test she took in August. Rachel Mitchell, who's asking questions for the Senate Republicans on the committee, asked her about it:
Mitchell: Did you pay for the polygraph yourself?
Ford: I don’t think so.
Mitchell: Do you know who did?
Ford: Not yet, no.
It's Jamar Guy's day off. But he came to Shaw's Tavern in Washington, which opened early, because he needed to watch this hearing.
This is personal for him.
"I was sexually abused as a child," Guy said. "I was 10. I told my mom about it when I was 28."
Guy, 35, says he's a survivor, and he understands why Ford did not tell people.
"People don't report it for a ton of reasons," he said. "Fear, shame are the top two. That's how it worked for me."
Now, he's talking more about his story to those close to him -- roommates, even friends.
"I feel the need to correct this misperception that people have, that because you didn't tell someone about it, it didn't happen," he says.
Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Christine Blasey Ford's testimony is "fine" but "she’s repeating what we already knew."
“Basically she’s repeating what we already knew, which is she believes something happened. She believes it was Brett Kavanaugh but everybody she claims was in the house denies having any knowledge of it. There is no corroboration," he said.
CNN asked if that meant that Cornyn hasn't found Ford persuasive.
“No, it’s fine as far as what she’s saying. But you need more than an accusation for evidence. You need corroboration," he said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, listened intently as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where she recounted a sexual assault that, she says, came at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
At one point, Alyssa Milano, Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Maloney were all crying as Sen. Blumenthal spoke.