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
32 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:16 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford says it's "absolutely not" possible she mistook Kavanaugh's identity

Sen. Dianne Feinstein just asked Christine Blasey Ford how she knew that Brett Kavanaugh was the boy who attacked her.

Here's how she responded:

"The same way I'm sure I'm talking to you right now. Basic memory functions. And also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that sort of, as you know, encodes that neurotransmitter encodes memories into the hippocampus so the trauma related experience is locked there where as other details kind of drift.

Feinstein followed up with this question: "So what you're telling us is this could not be a case of mistaken identity?"

"Absolutely not," Ford said.

Watch the exchange:

11:09 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren meets with protesters outside hearing

As the hearing continues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is meeting with protesters in the atrium outside the hearing.

11:00 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford wrote her opening statement herself

From CNN's Dana Bash and Laura Jarrett

A source close to Christine Blasey Ford said she wrote her prepared remarks herself. 

You can read them here.

11:12 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford, her voice shaking, describes the night she was sexually assaulted

Christine Blasey Ford, seemingly on the verge of tears, recounted the incident where she alleges Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her while they were both at a party during their high school years.

Here's some of what Ford alleged took place during her testimony:

"Early in the evening, I went up a narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to a second floor to use the bathroom. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was pushed from behind into a bedroom. I couldn't see who pushed me. Brett and Mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them.
There was music already playing in the bedroom. It was turned up louder by either Brett or Mark once we were in the room. I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy. Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life."

Ford said the alleged assault "drastically altered" her life, and for "a very long time" she was "too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone these details."

"I did not want to tell my parents that I, at age 15, was in a house without any parents present, drinking beer with boys. I convinced myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should just move on and just pretend that it had never happened," Ford said.


10:52 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

People watching Ford's testimony are tearing up in the room

From CNN's MJ Lee

You can hear and see in the room, as Blasey Ford describes her alleged assault through tears, that people supporters and some Senate staffers are crying and in tears.

Senator Klobuchar wiped away a tear.

10:49 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford says she doesn't remember everything, but what she does she will never forget

Christine Blasey Ford said she doesn't remember all the details about how the party where she was allegedly sexually assaulted was organized. She apologized for not recalling all of them.

"I truly wish I could be more helpful with more detailed answers to all of the questions that have and will be asked about how I got to the party and where it took place and so forth," she said.

"I don't have all the answers, and I don't remember as much as I would like to."

However, she added, what she does remember, she "will never forget."

But the details about that night that bring me here today are the ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult

Watch more:

10:44 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Protesters are standing silent outside the hearing, clogging halls and elevators

From CNN's Paul Murphy

Emily Qualey says she, and nine others, drove over 500 miles to deliver a message to her senator, Susan Collins: Vote no on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

She and many others are silently protesting in the halls--even elevators--outside the hearing room.

Protesters lining the halls are silent. Their mouths are taped shut with "Believe survivors" and "Believe women" inscribed on the tape.

Similar messages are written on their raised palms, "I believe...We believe."

10:45 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford tells senators: "I am terrified" but it's my "civic duty" to be here

Christine Blasey Ford just introduced herself at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, admitted she was "terrified," and told senators why she has chosen to be there: It's her "civic duty."

"I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school," she said. "I have described the events publicly before. I summarized them in my letter to ranking member Feinstein, and again in a letter to Chairman Grassley. I understand and appreciate the importance of your hearing from me directly about what happened to me and the impact it has had on my life and on my family."

She then explained how she met Brett Kavanaugh, "the boy who sexually assaulted me."

10:37 a.m. ET, September 27, 2018

Ford was just sworn in

Christine Blasey Ford was just sworn in for today's testimony.

Watch the moment: