Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testify on sex assault allegations

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries, Sophie Tatum and Paul P. Murphy, CNN

Updated 8:22 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018
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2:05 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Graham threatens Democrats: "You better watch out for your nominees"


Sen. Lindsey Graham, speaking to reporters at a break, expressed his frustration with the allegations that have threatened to derail Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation and shared a warning, "Let me tell my democratic friends, if this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees."

Here's his full remark:

Well let me put it this way to my Republican colleagues. If this becomes the new standard where you have an accusation for weeks, you drop it right before the hearing, you withhold from the committee a chance to do this in a professional timely fashion. When they say they’re going to do this is to delay the vote, get the Senate back in 2018 so they can fill the seat. I don’t want to publicly reward that kind of behavior. I think we’ve been very fair. And to my Republican colleagues. If you can ignore everything in this record an allegation that’s 35 years old, that’s uncertain in time, place, date and no corroboration. If that’s enough for you, God help us all as Republicans. Because this happens to us, but this never happens to them. Let me tell my democratic friends, if this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees.
2:11 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Graham tells rape victim who asked if he believes her, "Go to the cops"

From CNN's Suzanne Malveaux

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:

1:48 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford's lawyers paid for the lie detector test, "as is routine," they say

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.

1:46 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Kavanaugh protesters and supporters face off outside the hearing

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.


1:46 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Graham casts doubt on Ford's accusation and defends committee vote scheduled for Friday

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."
1:39 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Santorum: Sometimes pawns can take kings

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."

Watch more:

1:36 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford says she doesn't know who paid for her polygraph test

Ford Legal Team
Ford Legal Team

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.

1:33 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Abuse survivor watching testimony: I didn't talk about it until almost 20 years later

From Catherine Shoichet

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.

1:23 p.m. ET, September 27, 2018

GOP senator of Ford's claims: "There is no corroboration"

From CNN's Ted Barrett

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.