There are protests outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. Thursday morning, but all eyes are on a small room inside the building, 226, as hearings convene that could determine the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation. Christine Blasey Ford, professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today about allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Ford 36 years ago, when she was 15 years old and he was 17. Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will question Ford and Kavanaugh on behalf of the committee’s Republican majority. The committee’s Democrats will ask questions themselves.
Ford will speak first. In prepared remarks made public on Wednesday, the professor said she was testifying reluctantly. “I am here today not because I want to be. 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,” Ford wrote. “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.”
Read Ford’s statement in full.
Kavanaugh will be questioned after Ford. In his prepared remarks, also released yesterday, the D.C. circuit court judge said, “This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone—not in high school, not in college, not ever.“
Read Kavanaugh’s statement in full.