Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testify on sex assault allegations
When he does arrive on Capitol Hill, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is planning to watch at least the first portion of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony from Vice President Mike Pence’s ceremonial office in the Senate side of the Capitol, a source familiar with the plan says.
As Ford’s legal team requested, and Judiciary Committee Republicans agreed to, he will never be in the same room as Ford. He will make his way to the committee room after she departs.
Christine Blasey Ford has arrived at the hearing table.
She'll testify before Brett Kavanaugh.
Senate Democrats are not expected to consolidate their time -– meaning no one is giving up their allotted time to ask questions in order to give longer time to one or two.
But they ARE coordinating their questioning, CNN has learned.
An aide to Sen. Susan Collins tells CNN she will be watching the hearings but not from her office in the Dirksen building.
They anticipate protestors and people from the overflow viewing room just down the hall to make their way to her office later today.
A spokesperson said the senator will watch from her office in the Capitol building.
Clarification: This post has been updated to clarify where Collins is watching the hearing.
Christine Blasey Ford’s friend, Samantha Guerry, is here.
“She’s ready, and she’s determined,” Guerry told CNN.
The prosecutor selected to serve as outside counsel for the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's hearing is officially in the room.
Rachel Mitchell has been a prosecutor for more than 25 years in Arizona involved in crimes similar to the sexual assault allegation levied by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh, who has denied the claim.
Mitchell currently serves as the Deputy County Attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix and is also is the division chief of the Special Victims Division, which handles cases of domestic violence, sex crimes, and auto theft. She has taken a leave of absence to come to Washington.
For over a decade, Mitchell, who was admitted to the Arizona state bar in 1992, ran the sex crimes bureau of that division, directing the prosecution of crimes including adult sexual assault.
On Thursday, however, she'll be handling a case unlike any she's ever prosecuted.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both phoned Judge Kavanaugh to voice their support for him ahead of today's hearing.
Trump had a message for Kavanaugh when they spoke, per someone familiar with the call: Be aggressive and forceful in your denials. Don't be afraid to push back on these allegations, Trump said.
Will the belligerent style Trump has employed to refute similar allegations work for Kavanaugh today? Stay tuned.