SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE NOMINATION OF BRETT M.
KAVANAUGH TO BE AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, DAY 5,
FOCUSING ON ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.
SEN. THOM TILLIS, R-N.C.
SEN. BEN SASSE, R-NEB.
SEN. MICHAEL D. CRAPO, R-IDAHO
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF., RANKING MEMBER
SEN. PATRICK J. LEAHY, D-VT.
SEN. RICHARD J. DURBIN, D-ILL.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-R.I.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINN.
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.
SEN. MAZIE K. HIRONO, D-HAWAII
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF.
RACHEL MITCHELL, STAFF COUNSEL
CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER
MICHAEL BROMWICH, ATTORNEY FOR MS. FORD
JUDGE BRETT M. KAVANAUGH, NOMINATED TO BE AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF
THE SUPREME COURT
GRASSLEY: This morning we continue our hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as associate justice on our Supreme Court. We will hear from two witnesses, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Thanks, of course, to Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh for accepting our committee’s invitation to testify and also thank them for their volunteering to testify before we even invited.
GRASSLEY: Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have been through a terrible couple weeks. They and their families have received vile threats. What they have endured ought to be considered by all of us as unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy.
So I want to apologize to you both for the way you’ve been treated. And I intend, hopefully, for today’s hearing to be safe, comfortable and dignified for both of our witnesses. I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort of a show of civility.
With that said, I lament that this hearing — how this hearing has come about.
On July the 9th, 2018, the president announced Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has served on the most important federal appellate court for 12 years. Before that, he held some of the most sensitive positions in the federal government. The president added Judge Kavanaugh to his short list of Supreme Court more than nine months ago, in November 2017.
GRASSLEY: As part of judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the FBI conducted its sixth full field background investigation of Judge Kavanaugh since 1993, 25 years ago. Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports, which committee investigators have reviewed on a bipartisan basis, was there a whiff of any issue — any issue at all related in any way to inappropriate sexual behavior.
Dr. Ford first raised her allegations in a secret letter to the ranking member nearly two months ago in July. This letter was secret from July 30th, September 13th to — no, July 30th until September 13th when I first heard about it.
The ranking member took no action. The letter wasn’t shared with me or colleagues or my staff. These allegations could have been investigated in a way that maintained the confidentiality that Dr. Ford requested.
Before his hearing, Judge Kavanaugh met privately with 65 senators, including the ranking member. But the ranking member didn’t ask Judge Kavanaugh about the allegations when she met with him privately in August.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held its four-day public hearing from September 4th to September 7th. Judge Kavanaugh testified for more than 32 hours in public. We held a closed session for members to ask sensitive on that — on the last evening, which the ranking member did not attend.
Judge Kavanaugh answered nearly 1,300 written questions submitted by senators after the hearing, more than all prior Supreme Court nominees.
Throughout this period, we did not know about the ranking member’s secret evidence.
Then, only at an 11th hour, on the eve of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, did the ranking member refer the allegations to the FBI. And then, sadly, the allegations were leaked to the press. And that’s where Dr. Ford was mistreated.
This is a shameful way to treat our witness, who insisted on confidentiality, and — and, of course, Judge Kavanaugh, who has had to address these allegations in the midst of a media circus.
When I received Dr. Ford’s letter on September the 13th, my staff and I recognized the seriousness of these allegations and immediately began our committee’s investigation, consistent with the way the committee has handled such allegations in the past.
Every step of the way the Democratic side refused to participate in what should have been a bipartisan investigation. And as far as I know on all of our judgeships throughout at least the last four years — or three years, that’s been the way it’s been handled.
After Dr. Ford’s identity became public, my staff contacted all the individuals she said attended the 1982 party described in the Washington Post article.
Judge Kavanaugh immediately submitted to an interview under penalty of felony for any knowingly false statements. He denied the allegations categorically.
GRASSLEY: Democratic staff was invited to participate and could have asked any questions they wanted to, but they declined. Which leads me then to wonder: If they’re really concerned with going to the truth, why wouldn’t you want to talk to the accused?
The process and procedure is what the committee always does when we receive allegations of wrongdoing.
My staff reached out to other individuals allegedly at the party: Mark Judge, Patrick Smyth, Leland Keyser. All three submitted statements to the Senate under — under penalty of felony, denying any knowledge of the events described by Dr. Ford.
Dr. Ford’s lifelong friend, Dr. — Miss Keyser, stated she doesn’t know Judge Kavanaugh and doesn’t recall ever attending a party with him.
My staff made repeated requests to interview Dr. Ford during the past 11 days, even volunteering to fly to California to take her testimony, but her attorneys refused to prevent — present her allegations to Congress. I never — I nevertheless honored her request for a public hearing, so Dr. Ford today has the opportunity to prevent (sic) her allegations under oath.
As you can see, the Judiciary Committee was able to conduct thorough investigations into allegation — thorough investigations into allegations.
Some of my colleagues, consistent with their stated desires to obstruct Kavanaugh’s nomination by any means precisely — by any means necessary, pushed for FBI investigations into the allegations. But I have no authority to force the executive branch agency to conduct an investigation into a matter it considers to be closed. Moreover, once the allegations become — became public, it was easy to identify all the alleged witnesses and conduct our own investigations.
Contrary to what the public has been led to believe, the FBI doesn’t perform any credibility assessments or verify the truth of any events in these background investigations.
I’ll quote then-Chairman Joe Biden during Justice Thomas’ confirmation hearing. This is what Senator Biden said, quote, “The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn’t understand anything. The FBI explicitly does not, in this or any other case, reach a conclusion, period. They say he — he said, she said, they said, period. So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand, they do not — they do not — they do not reach conclusions. They do not make recommendations,” end of Senator Biden’s quote.
The FBI provided us with the allegations. Now it’s up to the Senate to assess their credibility. Which brings us to this very time.
I look forward to a fair and respectful hearing. That’s what we promised Dr. Ford.
Some of my colleagues have complained about the fact that an expert on this side is — investigating sex crimes will be questioning the witness. I see no basis for complaint other than just playing politics.
GRASSLEY: The testimony we will hear today concerns allegations of sexual assault; very serious allegations. This is an incredibly complex and sensitive subject to discuss. It is not an easy one to discuss. That is why the senators on this side of the dais believe an expert who has deep experience and training in interviewing victims of sexual assault and investigating sexual assault alleged — allegations should be asking questions.
This will be in stark contrast to the grandstanding and chaos that we saw from the other side during the previous four days in this hearing process.
I can think of no one better equipped to question the witnesses than Rachel Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell is a career prosecutor, civil servant, with decades of experience investigating and prosecuting sex crimes. She has dedicated her career to seeking justice for survivors of sex-related felonies.
Most recently, Rachel was a division chief of the Special Victims Division, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes sex crimes and family violence.
Then-Democratic Senator — Governor Janet Napolitano previously recognized her as the outstanding Arizona sexual assault prosecutor of the year. And she has spent years instructing prosecutors, detectives and child protection workers on how to properly interview victims of sexual assault and abuse.
With her aid, I look forward to a fair and productive hearing.
I understand that there are two other public allegations. Today’s hearing was scheduled to — in close consultation with Dr. Ford’s attorneys, and her testimony will be the subject of this hearing.
We’ve been trying to investigate other allegations. At this time, we have not had cooperation from attorneys representing other clients, and they have made no attempt to substantiate their claims.
My staff has tried to secure testimony and evidence from attorneys for both Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. My staff made eight requests — yes, eight requests — for evidence from attorneys for Ms. — Ms. Ramirez, and six requests for evidence for (sic) attorneys for Ms. Swetnick. Neither attorney has made their clients available for interview. The committee can’t do an investigation if attorneys are stonewalling.
I hope you all understand that we have attempted to seek additional information, as we do a lot of times when there are holes in what we call the B.I. reports.
Additionally, all the witnesses should know — by — when I say “all the witnesses,” I mean Dr. Ford and I mean Judge Kavanaugh — all the witnesses should know that they have the right under Senate Rule 26.5 to ask that the committee go into closed session if a question requires an answer that is a clear invasion of their right to privacy.
If either Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh feel that Senate Rule 26.5 ought to be involved, they should simply say so.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I’ll make just a brief comment on your references to me.
Yes, I did receive a letter from Dr. Ford. It was conveyed to me by a member of Congress, Anna Eshoo.
The next day, I called Dr. Ford. We spoke on the phone. She reiterated that she wanted this held confidential. And I held it confidential, up to a point where the witness was willing to come forward.
FEINSTEIN: And I think as I make my remarks, perhaps you’ll see why. Because how women are treated in the United States, with this kind of concern, is really wanting a lot of reform. And I’ll get to that for a minute.
But in the meantime, good morning, Dr. Ford. Thank you for coming forward and being willing to share your story with us. I know this wasn’t easy for you.
But before you get to your testimony — and the chairman chose not to do this — I think it’s important to make sure you’re properly introduced. And I have to…
GRASSLEY: By the way, I was going to introduce her. But if you want to introduce her, I’ll be glad to have you do that.
But I want you to know, I didn’t forget to do it, because I would do that just as she was about to speak.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you.
I have to say, when I saw your C.V., I was extremely impressed. You have a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; two master’s degrees, one from Stanford and one from Pepperdine; and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, better known to Senator Harris and I as USC.
You are a professor affiliated with both Stanford University and Palo Alto University. You have published over 65 peer-reviewed articles and have received numerous awards for your work and research.
And as if that were not enough, you are a wife, a mother of two sons and a constituent from California.
So I am very grateful to you for your strength and your bravery in coming forward. I know it’s hard.
But before I turn it over, I want to say something about what is to be discussed today and where we are as a country.
Sexual violence is a serious problem and one that largely goes unseen. In the United States it’s estimated by the Centers for Disease Control one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported. In addition, when survivors do report their assaults, it’s often years later due to the trauma they suffered and fearing their stories will not be believed.
Last week I received a letter from a 60-year-old California constituent who told me that she survived an attempted rape at age 17. She described as being terrified and embarrassed. She never told a soul until much later in life. The assault stayed with her for 43 years.
I think it’s important to remember these realities as we hear from Dr. Ford about her experience.
There’s been a great deal of public discussion about the #MeToo movement today versus the Year of the Woman almost 27 years ago. But while young women are standing up and saying “No more,” our institutions have not progressed in how they treat women who come forward. Too often, women’s memories and credibility come under assault. In essence, they are put on trial and forced to defend themselves, and often revictimized in the process.
FEINSTEIN: Twenty-seven years ago, I was walking through an airport when I saw a large group of people gathered around a TV to listen to Anita Hill tell her story. What I saw was an attractive woman in a blue suit before an all-male Judiciary Committee, speaking of her experience of sexual harassment. She was treated badly, accused of lying, attacked, and her credibility put to the test throughout the process.
Today, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has come forward to tell her story of being assaulted and fearing for her life when she was a teenager.
Initially, as I said, Dr. Ford did not want to make her story public. Then within 36 hours of coming forward, Republicans scheduled a hearing without talking to her or even inviting her to testify. She was told she had to show up for the — or the committee would move forward with a vote. It took a public outcry for the — from the majority — excuse me — for the majority to back down and give her even a few days to come before the committee.
Republicans also scheduled this hearing with Dr. Ford without having her allegations investigated by the FBI. In 1991, Anita Hill’s allegations were reviewed by the FBI, as is the normal process and squarely within its jurisdiction. However, despite repeated requests, President Trump and the Republicans have refused to take this routine step and direct the FBI to conduct an impartial investigation. This would clearly be the best way to ensure a fair process to both Judge Kavanaugh and to Dr. Ford.
In 1991, the Senate heard from 22 witnesses over three days. Today, while rejecting an FBI investigation, Republicans are refusing to hear testimony from any other witness, including Mark Judge, who Dr. Ford identified as being in the room when the attack took place. And we believe Judge should be subpoenaed so the committee can hear from him directly.
Republicans have also refused to call anyone who could speak to the evidence that would support or refute Dr. Ford’s claim, and not one witness who could address credibility and character of either Ford or Kavanaugh has been called.
What I find most inexcusable is this rush to judgment, the unwillingness to take these kinds of allegations at face value and look at them for what they are: a real question of character for someone who is asking for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.
In 1991, Republicans belittled Professor Hill’s experience, saying, and I quote, “It won’t make a bit of difference in the outcome,” end quote, and the burden of proof was on Professor Hill.
Today our Republican colleagues are saying, “This is a hiccup,” “Dr. Ford is mixed up,” and declaring, “I’ll listen to the lady, but we’re going to bring this to a close.”
What’s worse, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have also made it clear that no matter what happens today, the Senate will plow right through and ensure Judge Kavanaugh would be elevated within a week.
FEINSTEIN: In fact, on Tuesday, the majority went ahead and scheduled a vote on the nomination before we heard one word of testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh. Republican leadership even told senators they should plan to be in over this weekend so the nomination can be pushed through without delay.
This is, despite the fact, that in the last few days two more women have come forward with their own serious allegations of sexual assault involving Brett Kavanaugh.
This past Sunday, we’ve learned about Debbie Ramirez, who was a student at Yale with Brett Kavanaugh. She, too, did not want to come forward, but after being approached by reporters, she told her story. She was at a college party where Kavanaugh exposed himself to her. She recalls pushing him away and then seeing him laughing and pulling his pants up.
Then yesterday, June (sic) Swetnick came forward to say that she had experiences of being at house parties with Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. She recounted seeing Kavanaugh engage, and I quote, “in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls,” end quote, including attempts to, quote, “remove or shift girls clothing,” end quote. Not taking, quote, “no for an answer,” grabbing girls, quote “without their consent,” end quote, and targeting, quote, “particular girls so that they could be taken advantage of,” end quote.
Each of these stories are troubling on their own and each of these allegations should be investigated by the FBI. All three women have said they would like the FBI to investigate; please do so. All three have said they have other witnesses and evidence to corroborate their accounts. And yet Republicans continue to blindly push forward.
So today we’re moving forward with a hearing and being asked to assess the credibility of Brett Kavanaugh.
He’s made several statements about how his focus was on school, basketball, service projects, and going to church. He declared that he, quote, “never,” end quote, drank so much he couldn’t remember what happened, and he has, quote, “always treated women with dignity and respect,” end quote.
And while he has made these declarations, more and more people have come forward challenging his characterization of events and behaviors.
James Roche, his freshman roommate at Yale, stated Kavanaugh was, and I quote again, “frequently incoherently drunk,” end quote, and that was when, quote, “he became aggressive and belligerent,” end quote, when he was drunk.
Liz Swisher, a friend of his from Yale, said, and I quote, “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out, but it’s not credible for him to say that he had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess,” end quote.
Lynne Brookes, a college classmate, said the picture Kavanaugh is trying to paint doesn’t match her memories of him, and I quote, “He’s trying to paint himself as some kind of choirboy. You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out he’s gone too far. It’s about the integrity of the institution,” end quote.
FEINSTEIN: Ultimately, members and ladies and gentlemen, I really think that’s the point. We’re here to decide whether to evaluate (sic) this nominee to the most prestigious court in our country. It’s about the integrity of that institution and the integrity of this institution.
The entire country is watching how we handle these allegations. I hope the majority changes their tactics, opens their mind and seriously reflects on why we are here. We are here for one reason: to determine whether Judge Kavanaugh should be elevated to one of the most powerful positions in our country.
This is not a trial of Dr. Ford, it’s a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh. Is Brett Kavanaugh who we want on the most prestigious court in our country? Is he the best we can do?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: I’m sorry you brought up about the unsubstantiated allegations of other people, because we’re here for the sole purpose of listening to Dr. Ford. And we’ll consider other issues other times.
I would like to have you rise so I can swear you.
Now you — do you swear that the testimony that you’re about to give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
GRASSLEY: Thank you very much. Please be seated.
And before you give your statement, I want to say that — to everybody that she has asked for — any time you ask for a break, you get a break. Any time there’s something that you need you don’t have, just ask us. And you can have as much time for your opening statement as you want.
And — and just generally let us know if there’s any issues.
FORD: Thank you, Senator Grassley. I think after I read my opening statement, I anticipate needing some caffeine, if that is available.
Can you pull the microphone just a little bit closer to you, please? Can the whole box go a little bit closer?
(UNKNOWN): That’s what I’m trying, Senator. No.
GRASSLEY: OK, well, then — then…
FORD: I’ll lean forward.
GRASSLEY: Thank you. Thank you.
FORD: Is this good?
Thank you, Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, members of the committee. My name is Christine Blasey Ford. I am a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. I won’t detail my educational background since it has already been summarized. I have been married to Russell Ford since 2002 and we have two children.
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.
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 that it has had on my life and on my family.
I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I attended the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1978 to 1984. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school that opened in 1901.
FORD: During my time at this school, girls at Holton-Arms frequently met and became friendly with boys from all-boys schools in the area, including the Landon School, Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga High School, as well as our country clubs and other places where kids and families socialized. This is how I met Brett Kavanaugh, the boy who sexually assaulted me.
During my freshman and sophomore school years, when I was 14 and 15 years old, my group of friends intersected with Brett and his friends for a short period of time. I had been friendly with a classmate of Brett’s for a short time during my freshman and sophomore year, and it was through that connection that I attended a number of parties that Brett also attended. We did not know each other well, but I knew him and he knew me.
In the summer of 1982, like most summers, I spent most every day at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, swimming and practicing diving.
One evening that summer, after a day of diving at the club, I attended a small gathering at a house in the Bethesda area. There were four boys I remember specifically being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, a boy named P.J., and one other boy whose name I cannot recall. I also remember my friend Leland attending.
I do not remember all of the details of how that gathering came together, but like many that summer, it was almost surely a spur-of-the-moment gathering.
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. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t remember as much as I would like to.
But the details that — 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.
When I got to the small gathering, people were drinking beer in a small living room/family room-type area on the first floor of the house. I drank one beer. Brett and Mark were visibly drunk.
Early in the evening, I went up a very narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to a second floor to use the restroom. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was pushed from behind into a bedroom across from the bathroom. I couldn’t see who pushed me. Brett and Mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them.
There was music 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 into me. I yelled, hoping that someone downstairs might hear me, and I 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 very inebriated, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit underneath my clothing.
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 yelling. This is what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.
FORD: Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They seemed to be having a very good time.
Mark seemed ambivalent, at times urging Brett on and at times telling him to stop. A couple of times, I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.
During this assault, Mark came over and jumped on the bed twice while Brett was on top of me. And the last time that he did this, we toppled over and Brett was no longer on top of me. I was able to get up and run out of the room.
Directly across from the bedroom was a small bathroom. I ran inside the bathroom and locked the door. I waited until I heard Brett and Mark leave the bedroom, laughing and loudly walk down the narrow stairway, pinballing off the walls on the way down.
I waited, and when I did not hear them come back up the stairs, I left the bathroom, went down the same stairwell through the living room, and left the house.
I remember being on the street and feeling this enormous sense of relief that I had escaped that house and that Brett and Mark were not coming outside after me.
Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I 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 didn’t happen.
Over the years, I told very, very few friends that I had this traumatic experience. I told my husband before we were married that I had experienced a sexual assault. I had never told the details to anyone — the specific details — until May 2012, during a couples counseling session.
The reason this came up in counseling is that my husband and I had completed a very extensive, very long remodel of our home and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand.
In explaining why I wanted a second front door, I began to describe the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court, and spoke a bit about his background at an elitist all-boys school in Bethesda, Maryland. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.
After that May 2012 therapy session, I did my best to ignore the memories of the assault, because recounting them caused me to relive the experience, and caused panic and anxiety.
Occasionally, I would discuss the assault in an individual therapy session, but talking about it caused more reliving of the trauma, so I tried not to think about it or discuss it. But over the years, I went through periods where I thought about the attack.
I had confided in some close friends that I had had an experience with sexual assault. Occasionally, I stated that my assailant was a prominent lawyer or judge, but I did not use his name.
FORD: I do not recall each person I spoke to about Brett’s assault. And some friends have reminded me of these conversations since the publication of the Washington Post story on September 16th, 2018. But until July 2018, I had never named Mr. Kavanaugh as my attacker outside of therapy.
This changed in early July 2018. I saw press reports stating that Brett Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of a list of very well-qualified Supreme Court nominees. I thought it was my civic duty to relay the information I had about Mr. Kavanaugh’s conduct so that those considering his nomination would know about this assault.
On July 6th, I had a sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president as soon as possible, before a nominee was selected. I did not know how, specifically, to do this.
I called my congressional representative and let her receptionist know that someone on the president’s shortlist had attacked me. I also sent a message to the encrypted Washington Post confidential tip line. I did not use my name, but I provided the names of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. I stated that Mr. Kavanaugh had assaulted me in the 1980s in Maryland.
This was an extremely hard thing for me to do, but I felt that I couldn’t not do it.
Over the next two days, I told a couple of close friends on the beach in Aptos, California, that Mr. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted me. I was very conflicted as to whether to speak out.
On July 9th, I received a return phone call from the office of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo after Mr. Kavanaugh had become the nominee. I met with her staff on July 18th and with her on July 20th, describing the assault and discussing my fears about coming forward.
Later, we discussed the possibility of sending a letter to Ranking Member Feinstein, who is one of my state senators, describing what occurred. My understanding is that Representative Eshoo’s office delivered a copy of my letter to Senator Feinstein’s office on July 30th.
The letter included my name, but also a request that it be kept confidential. My hope was that providing the information confidentially would be sufficient to allow the Senate to consider Mr. Kavanaugh’s serious misconduct without having to make myself, my family or anyone’s family vulnerable to the personal attacks and invasions of privacy that we have faced since my name became public.
In a letter dated August 31st, Senator Feinstein wrote that she would not share the letter without my explicit consent, and I appreciated this commitment. Sexual assault victims should be able to decide for themselves when and whether their private experience is made public.
As the hearing date got closer, I struggled with a terrible choice: Do I share the facts with the Senate and put myself and my family in the public spotlight, or do I preserve our privacy and allow the Senate to make its decision without knowing the full truth of his past behaviors?
I agonized daily with this decision throughout August and September 2018. The sense of duty that originally motivated me to reach out confidentially to The Washington Post and to Anna Eshoo’s office when there was still a list of extremely qualified candidates — and to Senator Feinstein — was always there, but my fears of the consequences of speaking out started to exponentially increase.
FORD: During August 2018, the press reported that Mr. Kavanaugh’s confirmation was virtually certain. Persons painted him as a champion of women’s rights and empowerment. And I believed that if I came forward, my single voice would be drowned out by a chorus of powerful supporters.
By the time of the confirmation hearings, I had resigned myself to remaining quiet and letting the committee and the Senate make their decision without knowing what Mr. Kavanaugh had done to me.
Once the press started reporting on the existence of the letter I had sent to Senator Feinstein, I faced mounting pressure. Reporters appeared at my home and at my workplace, demanding information about the letter in the presence of my graduate students. They called my bosses and co-workers, and left me many messages, making it clear that my name would inevitably be released to the media.
I decided to speak out publicly to a journalist who had originally responded to the tip I had sent to the Washington Post and who had gained my trust. It was important for me to describe the details of the assault in my own words.
Since September 16th, the date of the Washington Post’s story, I have experienced an outpouring of support from people in every state of this country. Thousands and thousands of people who have had their lives dramatically altered by sexual violence have reached out to share their experience and have thanked me for coming forward. We have received tremendous support from our friends and our community.
At the same time, my greatest fears have been realized and the reality has been far worse than what I expected. My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats, and I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying and have rocked me to my core.
People have posted my personal information and that of my parents online on the Internet. This has resulted in additional e-mails, calls and threats.
My family and I were forced to move out of our home. Since September 16th, my family and I have been visiting in various secure locales, at times separated and at times together, with the help of security guards.
This past Tuesday evening, my work e-mail was hacked and messages were sent out trying to recant my description of the sexual assault.
Apart from the assault itself, these past couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. I’ve had to relive this trauma in front of the world. And I’ve seen my life picked apart by people on television, on Twitter, other social media, other media and in this body, who have never met me or spoken with me.
I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. Those who say that do not know me. I’m an independent person and I am no one’s pawn.
My motivation in coming forward was to be helpful and to provide facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you could take into a serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed.
FORD: It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell you the truth.
I understand that a professional prosecutor has been hired to ask me questions, and I’m committed to doing my very best to answer them. I have never been questioned by a prosecutor, and I will do my best.
At the same time, because the committee members will be judging my credibility, I do hope to be able to engage directly with each of you.
And at this point, I will do my best to answer your questions, and would request some caffeine.
(UNKNOWN): A Coke or something?
FORD: That sounds good. That would be great. Thanks.
GRASSLEY: Thank you.
FORD: Thank you.
GRASSLEY: Thank you very much.
Before I use my five minutes of questioning, I thought that I’d — I’d try to remind my colleagues — and in this case, Ms. Mitchell as well — that the five minutes, the way I traditionally have done, if you ask a question before your time runs out, and even though you go over your time, as long as you aren’t filibustering, I’ll let you ask your question.
And I’m going to make sure that both Dr. Ford and — Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh — as chairman of the committee, I know that they’re going to get a chance to answer the questions fully beyond that five minutes. But when that — when either Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh gets done, then we immediately go to the next person. So I hope that — that that will be done in a — and Dr. — Dr. Ford, I’m told that you want a break right now, and if you do, that’s fine.
FORD: I’m OK. I got the coffee. Thank you very much. I think I can proceed and sip on the coffee.
GRASSLEY: No — nobody can mix up my coffee right, so I…
So you’re pretty fortunate.
So now, with that, Ms. Mitchell, you have my five minutes to ask questions.
MITCHELL: Good morning, Dr. Ford.
MITCHELL: We haven’t met. My name is Rachel Mitchell.
FORD: Nice to meet you.
MITCHELL: I just wanted to tell you the — the first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you are terrified, and I just wanted to let you know I’m very sorry. That’s not right.
I know this is stressful, and so I would like to set forth some guidelines that maybe will alleviate that a little bit.
If I ask you a question that you don’t understand, please ask me to clarify it or ask it in a different way.
When I ask questions, sometimes I’ll refer back to other information you’ve provided. If I do that and I get it wrong, please correct me.
MITCHELL: I’m not going to ask you to guess. I know it was a long time ago. If you do estimate, please let me know that you’re estimating, OK?
We’ve put before you — and I’m sure you have copies of them anyway — five pieces of information, and I wanted to go over them.
The first is a screenshot of a WhatsApp texting between you and somebody at the Washington Post. Do you have that in front of you?
MITCHELL: The first two texts were sent by you on July 6th. Is that correct?
MITCHELL: And then the last one sent by you was on July 10th?
MITCHELL: OK. Are those three comments accurate?
FORD: I will read them.
(UNKNOWN): Take your time.
(UNKNOWN): Take your time.
FORD: So, there’s one correction.
FORD: I’ve misused the word “bystander” as an adjective.
FORD: “Bystander” means someone that is looking at an assault, and — and the person named P.J. was not technically a bystander. I was writing very quickly with a sense of urgency.
So I would not call him a bystander. He was downstairs and, you know, what I remember of him was he was a — a tall and very nice person. I didn’t know him well. But that he was downstairs, not anywhere near the event.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you…
FORD: I’d like to take that word out, if it’s possible.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you for clarifying that.
The second is the letter that you wrote to Senator Feinstein, dated the — July 30th of this year.
MITCHELL: Did you write the letter yourself?
FORD: I did.
MITCHELL: And I — since it’s dated July 30th, did you write it on that date?
FORD: I believe so. I — it sounds right. I was in Rehoboth, Delaware, at the time. I could look into my calendar and try to figure that out. It seemed…
MITCHELL: Was it written on or about that date?
FORD: Yes, yes. I traveled, I think, the 26th of July to Rehoboth, Delaware. So that makes sense, because I wrote it from there.
MITCHELL: Is the letter accurate?
FORD: I’ll take a minute to read it.
FORD: I — I can read fast.
(UNKNOWN): Take your time.
OK, so I have three areas that I’d like to address.
FORD: In the second paragraph, where it says this — “the assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home”…
FORD: … “at a gathering that included me and four others,” I can’t guarantee that there weren’t a few other people there, but they are not in my purview of my memory.
MITCHELL: Would it be fair to say there were at least four others?
What’s the second correction?
FORD: Oh, OK. The next sentence begins with “Kavanaugh physically pushed me into the bedroom,” I would say I can’t promise that Mark Judge didn’t assist with that. I don’t know. I was pushed from behind, so I don’t want to put that solely on him.
GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell, I don’t know whether this is fair for me to interrupt, but I want to keep people within five minutes. Is that a — is that a major problem for you in the middle of a question?
Because I don’t — we’ve got to — I’ve got to treat everybody the same.
MITCHELL: I understand that.
GRASSLEY: Can I go to Senator Feinstein, or you…
MITCHELL: Yes, sir. I — I’m sorry, I didn’t see the light was red. Please do.
MITCHELL: Please do.
GRASSLEY: Senator Feinstein?
FEINSTEIN: FORD: I didn’t get to…
(UNKNOWN): So we’re going to come back to that.
FORD: Oh, OK. I…
(UNKNOWN): … when she comes back (ph)…
FORD: I see.
(UNKNOWN): … just making…
FORD: I see. OK.
FEINSTEIN: Fast (ph).
GRASSLEY: For the benefit of Dr. Ford, I think she’ll continue that after the five minutes here.
FORD: Thank you. OK.
FEINSTEIN: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to begin by putting some letters in the record.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered. But if you want to tell me…
FEINSTEIN: 140 letters from friends and neighbors of the witness and a thousand female physicians across the country. That’s what the letters are.
I want to thank you very much for your testimony. I know how very, very hard it is.
Why — why have you held it to yourself all these years? As you look back, can you indicate what the reasons are?
FORD: Well, I haven’t held it all these years. I did disclose it in the — in the confines of therapy, where I felt like it was an appropriate place to cope with the sequelae of the event.
FEINSTEIN: Well, can you tell us what impact the events had on you?
FORD: Well, I think that the sequelae of sexual assault varies by person, so for me personally, anxiety, phobia and PTSD-like symptoms are the types of things that I’ve been coping with. So, more specifically, claustrophobia, panic and that type of thing.
FEINSTEIN: Is that the reason for the second door — front door…
FEINSTEIN: … is claustrophobia?
FORD: Correct. It doesn’t — our house does not look aesthetically pleasing from the curb.
FEINSTEIN: I see. And do you have that second front door?
FORD: It — it now is a place to host Google interns. Because we live near Google, so we get to have — other students can live there.
FEINSTEIN: Can you tell us, is there any other way this has affected your life?
FORD: The primary impact was in the initial four years after the event.
I struggled academically. I struggled very much in Chapel Hill and in college. When I was 17 and went off to college, I had a very hard time, more so than others, forming new friendships and especially friendships with boys, and I had academic problems.
FEINSTEIN: What were the — when — when we spoke and it became very clear how deeply you felt about this and the need that you wanted to remain confidential, can you talk a little bit about that?
So, I was watching carefully throughout the summer — well, my original intent, I just want to remind was to communicate with everyone when there was still a list of candidates who all seemed to be, just from my perspective, from what I could read, equally qualified. And I was in a hurry to try to get the information forward but didn’t quite know how to do that.
However, once he was selected and it seemed like he was popular and it was a sure vote, I was calculating daily the risk/benefit for me of coming forward, and wondering whether I would just be jumping in front of a train that was headed to where it was headed anyway and that I would just be personally annihilated.
FEINSTEIN: How did you decide to come forward?
FORD: Ultimately because reporters were sitting outside my home and trying to talk to my dog through the window to calm the dog down, and a reporter appeared in my graduate classroom and I mistook her for a student, and she came up to ask me a question, and I thought she was a student and it turned out that she was a reporter.
So at that point, I felt like enough was enough. People were calling my colleagues at Stanford and leaving messages on their voicemails and on their e-mail, saying that they knew my name. Clearly, people knew my address because they were out in front of my house.
And it just — the mounting pressure, it seemed like it was time to just…
FEINSTEIN: I want…
FORD: … say what I needed to say.
FEINSTEIN: I’m sorry.
I want to ask you one question about the attack itself.
You were very clear about the attack. Being pushed into the room, you say you don’t know quite by whom, but that it was Brett Kavanaugh that covered your mouth to prevent you from screaming, and then you escaped. How are you so sure that it was he?
FORD: The same way that I’m sure that I’m talking to you right now. It’s — just 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. And so, the trauma-related experience, then, is kind of locked there, whereas other details kind of drift.
FEINSTEIN: So what you are telling us is this could not be a case of mistaken identity?
FORD: Absolutely not.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell, for Senator — for Senator Hatch.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
When we were stopped, you were going to tell us a third correction that you wanted to make on that statement — or, I’m sorry, the letter to Senator Feinstein.
FORD: It’s — it wasn’t a correction, but I wanted to comment on it, since we were looking at this letter, that I did see Mark Judge once at the Potomac Village Safeway after the time of the attack. And it would be helpful with anyone’s resources if — to figure out when he worked there, if people are wanting more details from me about when the attack occurred. If we could find out when he worked there, then I could provide a more detailed timeline as to when the attack occurred.
And that — that is — so, that is not a correction in your statement?
FORD: It’s just — no.
You also wrote out a handwritten statement for the polygrapher when you took your polygraph test, is that correct?
And I — I see corrections on that where you crossed out, so I will go on to The Washington Post article that was…
MITCHELL: … originally published on September 16th of this year.
FORD: And should I just not look at this for accuracy, or we’re just going to leave that be?
MITCHELL: We may…
MITCHELL: … come back to it…
MITCHELL: … if you need to refer to it.
MITCHELL: On The Washington Post article, did you submit to an interview by a reporter with The Washington Post for that article to be written?
And then finally, was the statement that you provided this morning — I assume that, to the best of your recollection, that that was accurate?
FORD: That this whole article is accurate?
MITCHELL: No, no. The statement that you made this morning.
I want to talk to you about the day that this happened leading up to the gathering.
MITCHELL: In your statement this morning, have you told us everything that you remember about the day leading up to that?
MITCHELL: Let me ask just a few questions to make sure that you’ve thought of everything, OK?
You indicated that you were at the country club swimming that day.
FORD: That’s my best estimate of how this could have happened.
And when you say “best estimate,” is that based on the fact that you said you went there pretty much every day?
MITCHELL: Is that a yes?
Do you recall prior to getting there — so I’m — I’m only talking about up to the gathering — had you had anything to drink?
FORD: Not at all.
MITCHELL: Were you on any sort of medication?
MITCHELL: Do you recall knowing before you went who was going to be at that gathering?
FORD: I recall that — expecting that Mark Judge and Leland would be at that gathering.
Do you recall an expectation that Brett Kavanaugh would be there?
FORD: I don’t recall whether or not I expected that.
Now let’s talk about the gathering up from the time you arrived until right when you went up the stairs, just that period of time, OK?
What was the atmosphere like at the gathering?
FORD: Mr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge were extremely inebriated, they had clearly been drinking prior. And the other people at the party were not. The living room was…
MITCHELL: Can I ask you just to follow up on that?
When you said it was clear that they had been drinking prior, do you mean prior to the time you had gotten there or prior to the time they had arrived?
FORD: Prior to the time that they arrived. I don’t recall who arrived first, though, whether it was me or them.
MITCHELL: OK, please continue.
So I recall that the — I could — I can sketch a floor plan. I recall that it was a sparsely furnished, fairly modest living room.
And it was not really a party like the news has made it sound. It was not. It was just a gathering that I assumed was going to lead to a party later on that those boys would attend, because they tended to have parties later at night than I was allowed to stay out.
So it was kind of a pre-gathering.
MITCHELL: Was it loud?
FORD: No, not in the living room.
MITCHELL: Besides the music that you’ve described that was playing in the bedroom, was there any other music or television or anything like that that was adding?
MITCHELL: OK. So there wasn’t a stereo playing downstairs?
GRASSLEY: Senator Leahy?
LEAHY: Dr. Ford, thank you for being here.
Mr. Chairman, you know, the — the way to make this inquiry truly credible is to do what we’ve always done when new information about a nominee comes to light. To use your words this morning, you want to reach the truth. The easy way to do that: ask the FBI to investigate. This is what we’ve always done. Let them investigate, report back to us. The same applies to the serious allegations made by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
Let’s have a nonpartisan, professional investigation and then take the time to have these witnesses testify.
Chairman, you and I were both here 27 years ago. At that time, the Senate failed Anita Hill. I said I believed her.
But I’m concerned that we’re doing a lot less for these three women today. That’s my personal view.
LEAHY: Dr. Ford, no matter what happens with this hearing today, no matter what happens to this nomination, I know, and I hear from so many in my own state of Vermont, there are millions of victims and survivors out there who have been inspired by your courage. I am.
Bravery is contagious. Indeed, that’s the driving force behind the MeToo movement. And you sharing your story is going to have a lasting, positive impact on so many survivors in our country. We owe you a debt of gratitude for that, Doctor.
Now, some senators have suggested you were simply mixed up about who assaulted you. An ally of Judge Kavanaugh in the White House even promoted a wild theory about a Kavanaugh look-alike. You immediately rejected that theory, as did the innocent man who’d been called that look-alike. In fact, he sent a letter to this committee forcefully rejecting this absurd theory.
I ask consent to enter that in the record.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
LEAHY: Now, how did you know Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge? And is it possible that you had mixed them up with somebody else?
FORD: No, it is not.
And the person that was blamed for the incident is actually the person who introduced me to them originally. So he was a member of Columbia Country Club. And I don’t want to talk about him because I think it’s unfair, but he is the person that — that introduced me to them.
LEAHY: But you — you would not mix up somebody else with Brett Kavanaugh, is that correct?
LEAHY: Or Mark Judge.
LEAHY: Well, then, let’s go back to the incident.
What is the strongest memory you have, the strongest memory of the incident, something that you cannot forget? Take whatever time you need.
FORD: Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the laugh — the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.
LEAHY: You’ve never forgotten that laughter. You’ve never forgotten them laughing at you.
FORD: They were laughing with each other.
LEAHY: And you were the object of the laughter?
FORD: I was, you know, underneath one of them while the two laughed, two friend — two friends having a really good time with one another.
LEAHY: Let me enter into the record a statement by the National Task Force to End Domestic Violence…
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
LEAHY: … and a letter from 24 members of the House of Representatives, urging the committee to use the NTF’s trauma-informed approach in questioning Dr. Ford…
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
LEAHY: … and a letter from another 116 members of the House asking to delay until all this has been heard.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
LEAHY: And Dr. Ford has at times been criticized for what she doesn’t remember from 36 years ago. But we have numerous experts, including a study by the U.S. Army Military Police School of Behavioral Sciences Education, that lapses of memory are wholly consistent with severe trauma and stressful assault. And I’d ask consent that be entered.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
LEAHY: And, Dr. Ford, I’d just conclude with this: You do remember what happened, do you not?
FORD: Very much so.
LEAHY: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: Now, Ms. Mitchell for Senator Graham.
And then it’s my understanding that — that that’s where you’d like to take a break.
FORD: Does that work for you? Does that work for you, as well?
GRASSLEY: Well, we — we’re here to accommodate you…
FORD: Oh, thank you.
GRASSLEY: … not you accommodate us.
FORD: I — I — I’m used to being collegial, so.
GRASSLEY: OK, go ahead.
Ms. Mitchell, for Senator Graham.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You told Senator Feinstein in your letter that you and four others were present. You’ve corrected that today to say it was at least four others.
When you were interviewed by The Washington Post, you said that there were four boys present at the party. And then in your polygraph statement, you said there were four boys and two girls.
When you say “two girls,” was that you and another or was that two other girls?
FORD: That was me and one other girl.
MITCHELL: And that other girl’s name?
MITCHELL: Leland Keyser now?
So then would it be fair to say at least P.J., Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, Leland Ingham — at the time — and yourself were present, and possibly others?
FORD: And one — one other boy. So there were four — there were four boys. I just don’t know the name of the other boy, so.
MITCHELL: Have you been contacted by anybody saying, “Hey, I was at that party, too”?
FORD: No, I haven’t talked with anyone from that party.
Now, you’ve — you’ve been detailed about what happened once you got up the stairs. And so, I don’t need to go through that again.
MITCHELL: I’m sorry, go ahead.
FORD: You know, oh wait, I’m sorry.
I just realized that I said something that was inaccurate. I said I hadn’t spoken with anyone from the party since that. I have spoken with Leland.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you for correcting that. I appreciate that.
FORD: Yes, thank you.
MITCHELL: You’ve gone into detail about what happened once you went up the stairs. So I don’t feel like it’s necessary to go over those things again.
FORD: Thank you.
MITCHELL: Have you told us everything that you do remember about it?
FORD: I believe so. But if there are other questions I will — I can attempt to answer them.
You said that the music was solely coming from that room, is that correct?
And it was turned up once the three of you were inside that room, is that correct?
At some point, do you recall it being turned down?
FORD: I don’t remember if it was turned down once I was leaving the house. I don’t remember.
FORD: Likely, since I could hear them walking down the stairs very clearly from the bathroom.
And the bathroom was…
FORD: I’m sorry (ph).
MITCHELL: … door was closed when you heard this, is that correct?
FORD: I could hear them very clearly hitting the walls…
FORD: … going down the stairwell.
MITCHELL: In fact, in your letter, you said that they went down the stairs and they were talking with other people…
MITCHELL: … in the house.
MITCHELL: Were you able to hear that conversation?
FORD: I was not able to hear that conversation. But I was aware that they were downstairs and that I would have to walk past them to get out of the house.
Now, let me make sure we’re on the same page. Were you not able to hear the conversation, or not able to understand the conversation?
FORD: I couldn’t hear the conversation. I was upstairs.
How do you know there was a conversation?
FORD: I’m just assuming, since it was a social gathering, people were talking. I don’t know.
In your letter, you…
FORD: I could hear them talking as they went down the stairwell, they were laughing, and…
In your letter you wrote, “Both loudly stumbled down the stairwell, at which point other persons at the house were talking with them.” Does that ring a bell?
FORD: Yes. I had to walk past everyone to leave the house, so…
FORD: I’m not…
MITCHELL: In your letter…
FORD: Maybe I’m not understanding. I’m sorry.
Your next sentence — let me try to clarify this. After you said “other persons at the house were talking with them,” the letter goes on with the very next sentence, “I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.”
You said that you do not remember how you got home, is that correct?
FORD: I do not remember…
FORD: … other than I did not drive home.
I’m going to show you, if somebody could provide to you, a map of the various peoples’ houses at the time. And if you could verify that this is where you were living at the time.
FORD: Where I was living at the time?
FORD: OK. OK.
HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, do we have a copy of these documents?
GRASSLEY: You do not have a copy (OFF-MIKE) you want one, we can get you one.
HARRIS: Yes, before the questions begin, so we can follow the testimony.
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS “BY” to “MY”)
GRASSLEY: OK. My staff says that we should not provide the copy.
(UNKNOWN): No, we will provide the copy.
(UNKNOWN): Will provide the copy.
GRASSLEY: Well, speak plainly with me, please.
HARRIS: Sure. I’d like to see what she’s looking at.
You have another 30 seconds now because I was rudely interrupted.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Harris, we do have a — a blown-up copy of this for the members to view, if that’s helpful.
FORD: OK, I’m going to put check marks next to homes that I can confirm are the correct locations, and then an X or a question mark when I don’t know where these people live.
MITCHELL: I’m only asking you to confirm if that map accurately shows where you were living at the time.
FORD: Where I lived at the time.
So I can’t see the street name, but I’m happy to refer to the address or the neighborhood.
MITCHELL: OK, could you tell us that?
FORD: Yes. It’s River Falls.
FORD: It’s near the — like — what is the place called? The Naval Research Center on Clara Barton Parkway.
MITCHELL: OK, was that a house or an apartment?
FORD: It was my parents’ home.
MITCHELL: All right. OK.
GRASSLEY: Senator Durbin?
DURBIN: Mr. Chairman, I ask consent to enter into the record letters of support for Dr. Ford from her classmates at Holton-Arms school, 1,200 alumni of the school, 195 of your colleagues, students and mentors, 1,400 women who — and men who attended D.C. schools, and 50 members of the Yale Law School faculty who are calling for a full FBI investigation. I ask consent to enter these into the record.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
DURBIN: Dr. Ford, as difficult as this experience must be, I want you to know your courage in coming forward has given countless Americans the strength to face their own life-shattering past and to begin to heal their wounds. By example, you have brought many families into an honest and sometimes painful dialogue that should have occurred a long time ago.
I’m sorry for what this has done to you and your family. No one, no one should face harassment, death threats and disparaging comments by cheap-shot politicians simply for telling the truth.
But you and your family should know that for every scurrilous charge and every pathetic tweet, there have been thousands of Americans, women and men, who believe you, support you and thank you for your courage.
Watching your experience, it’s no wonder that many sexual assault survivors hide their past and spend their lives suffering in pained silence.
You had absolutely nothing to gain by bringing these facts to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The fact that you are testifying here today, terrified though you may be, the fact that you have called for an FBI investigation of this incident, the fact that you are prepared to name both Judge Kavanaugh and eyewitness Mark Judge stands in sharp contrast to the obstruction we’ve seen on the other side.
DURBIN: The FBI should have investigated your charges as they did in the Anita Hill hearing, but they did not. Mark Judge should be subpoenaed from his Bethany Beach hideaway and required to testify under oath, but he has not.
Judge Kavanaugh, if he truly believes there is no evidence, no witnesses that can prove your case, should be joining us in demanding a thorough FBI investigation, but he is not.
Today, you come before this committee and before this nation alone. I know you’re joined by counsel and family.
The prosecutor on the Republican side will continue to ask questions to test your memory and veracity. After spending decades trying to forget that awful night, it’s no wonder your recollection is less than perfect.
A polished liar can create a seamless story, but a trauma survivor cannot be expected to remember every painful detail. That’s what Senator Leahy has mentioned earlier.
One question is critical. In Judge Kavanaugh’s opening testimony, which we will hear after you leave, this is what he says: “I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time.”
Last night, the Republican staff of this committee released to the media a timeline that shows that they’ve interviewed two people who claimed they were the ones who actually assaulted you. I’m asking you to address this new defense of mistaken identity directly.
Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?
FORD: One hundred percent.
DURBIN: One hundred percent.
In the letter which you sent to Dr. — or, Senator Feinstein you wrote, “I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see Mark Judge once at the Potomac Village Safeway where he was extremely uncomfortable in seeing me.”
Would you please describe that encounter at the Safeway with Mark Judge and what led you to believe he was uncomfortable?
I was going to the Potomac Village Safeway — this is the one on the corner of Falls and River Road — and I was with my mother. And I was a teenager, so I wanted her to go in one door and me go in the other.
So I chose the wrong door, because the door I chose was the one where Mark Judge was — looked like he was working there and arranging the shopping carts. And I said “Hello” to him. And his face was white and very uncomfortable saying “Hello” back.
And we had previously been friendly at the times that we saw each other over the previous two years. Albeit not very many times, we had always been friendly with one another.
I wouldn’t characterize him as not friendly. He was just nervous and not really wanting to speak with me.
DURBIN: How long…
FORD: And he — he looked a little bit ill.
DURBIN: How long did this occur after the incident?
FORD: I would estimate six to eight weeks.
DURBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: Before we take a break, I can’t let what Durbin — Senator Durbin said — by the way, he’s my friend; we work on a lot of legislation together.
But you talked about the obstruction from the other side.
I cannot let it go by what you’ve heard me say so many times, that between July 30th and September 13th, there were 45 days this committee could have been investigating this situation and her privacy would have been producted — protected. So something happened here in between, on your side, that the whole country — well, not the whole country should have known about it — no, not know about it. We should have investigated it.
We’ll take a break now for 15 minutes.
GRASSLEY: Dr. Ford, let me ask you a process question here. We were going to schedule a break for 12:05. This last break came just a little bit later; I didn’t call it at the right time.
We’re going to have a vote at 12:40, so would it be possible for you to go from now until 12:40 without a break?
GRASSLEY: Yes, OK.
Now it is Senator Cornyn’s time, so proceed Ms. Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator.
I have a blow-up here to my right of the map that was shown to you. The address that’s indicated on here as belonging to your family is what all the property tax records showed as being your address.
MITCHELL: Just to put it in perspective, I’d like to show you a further-out — a zoomed-out picture, so that we can put it in perspective. So, we can show the greater Washington area. Of course, you can see the Beltway on that — the Beltway area.
MITCHELL: Then number three, if we could look at that, we drew a one-mile radius around the country club and then we calculated from the farthest point…
HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, again, we don’t have these documents.
HARRIS: No, we’re not. That’s why she showed three different documents, because they depict three different things. So we’d like to see all three documents, please, so we can follow along.
GRASSLEY: She — proceed please.
Looking at number — the third thing here, we calculated the distance from the closest point to your house from a mile radius of the country club and then the farthest point. You can see it’s 6.2 and, of course, 8.2 miles.
MITCHELL: And you’ve described this as being near the country club, wherever this house was, is that right?
FORD: I would describe it as it’s somewhere between my house and the country club in that vicinity that’s shown in your picture. And the country club is about 20 — a 20-minute drive from my parents’ home.
MITCHELL: A 20-minute drive. And, of course, I’ve marked as the crow flies.
MITCHELL: Would it be fair to say that somebody drove you somewhere, either to the party or home from the party?
Has anyone come forward to say to you, “Hey, remember, I was the one that drove you home?”
In your July 6th text to The Washington Post that you looked at earlier, you said that this happened in the mid ’80s. In your letter to Senator Feinstein you said it occurred in the early ’80s.
MITCHELL: In your polygraph statement you said it was high school summer in ’80s, and you actually had written in and this is one of the corrections I referred to early and then you crossed that out.
Later in your interview with The Washington Post, you were more specific. You believed it occurred in the summer of 1982 and you said at the end of your sophomore year.
MITCHELL: You said the same thing I believe in your prepared statement.
How were you able to narrow down the timeframe?
FORD: I can’t give the exact date. And I would like to be more helpful about the date, and if I knew when Mark Judge worked at the Potomac Safeway, then I would be able to be more helpful in that way.
So I’m just using memories of when I got my driver’s license. I was 15 at the time. And I — I did not drive home from that party or to that party, and once I did have my driver’s license, I liked to drive myself.
MITCHELL: I’d assume the legal driving age was 16.
Now, you’ve talked about attending therapy. In your text to The Washington Post dated 7/6 — so that’s the very first statement we have from you — you put in there, quote, “have therapy records talking about it.”
MITCHELL: I want to make sure I understand that. Did you already have your therapy records at that time?
FORD: I had looked at them online to see if they existed, yes.
So this was something that was available to you via a computer, like a — a patient portal?
FORD: Actually, no, it was in the office of a provider.
FORD: She helped me go through the record to locate whether I had had record of this conversation that I had remembered.
MITCHELL: Did you show a full or partial set of those marriage therapy records to The Washington Post?
FORD: I don’t remember. I remember summarizing for her what they said. So I’m not – I’m not quite sure if I actually gave her the record.
MITCHELL: OK. So it’s possible that the reporter did not see these notes.
FORD: I don’t know if she’s – I can’t recall whether she saw them directly or if I just told her what they said.
MITCHELL: Have you shown them to anyone else besides your counsel?
FORD: Just the counsel.
MITCHELL: OK. Would it be fair to say that Brett Kavanaugh’s name is not listed in those notes?
FORD: His name is not listed in those notes.
MITCHELL: Would it also be fair to say that the therapist notes that we’ve been talking about say that there were four boys in the room?
FORD: It describes the sexual assault and it says erroneously by four boys. So the therapist got the content of it wrong.
MITCHELL: And you corrected that to The Washington Post reporter, correct?
GRASSLEY: Senator Whitehouse.
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, chairman.
Thank you, Dr. Blasey Ford. A lot of people are proud of you today.
From a prosecutor’s view, one of the hardest things that we have to do is to speak to somebody who’s come forward with an allegation of sexual assault and let them know that we can’t provide the evidence to go forward to trial. It’s a hard day for the prosecutor to do that.
And so, both because making a sincere and thorough investigative effort is such an important consolation to the victim in that circumstance and because it’s what you’re obliged to do professionally, sincere and thorough investigation is critical to these claims in a prosecutor’s world. It may be the most basic thing that we owe a victim or a witness coming forward is to make sure that we give them a full, thorough and sincere investigation.
You have met all of the standards of what I might call preliminary credibility with your initial statement. You have vivid, specific and detailed recollections, something prosecutors look for. Your recollections are consistent with known facts.
You made prior consistent statements, something else prosecutors and lawyers look for. You are willing to, and – and did, take a lie detector test. And you are willing to testify here. Here you are, subject to professional cross-examination by a prosecutor.
So you’ve met any condition any prosecutor could expect to go forward; and, yet, there has been no sincere or thorough investigation of your claims. You specifically asked for an FBI investigation, did you not?
(UNKNOWN): You can say something (ph).
WHITEHOUSE: And are you aware that when the FBI begins investigating, they might find corroborative evidence and they might find exculpatory evidence?
FORD: I don’t know what exculpatory evidence…
WHITEHOUSE: Is it(ph)…
FORD: … is.
WHITEHOUSE: … not helpful to your recollection and — and — version of events. Helpful to the accused.
FORD: Understood. Yes.
WHITEHOUSE: So it could go either way.
WHITEHOUSE: And you were (ph) still — not just willing, but insistent that the FBI should investigate your recollection and your claim?
FORD: Yes. I feel like it would — I could be more helpful in that, if that was the case, in providing some of the details that maybe people are wanting to know about.
WHITEHOUSE: And — and as we know, they didn’t. And I submit that never — never in the history of background investigations has an investigation not been pursued when new, credible, derogatory information was brought forward about the nominee or the candidate.
I don’t think this has ever happened in the history of FBI background investigations. Maybe somebody can prove me wrong, but it is wildly unusual and out of character.
And in my view, it is a grave disservice to you — and I want to take this moment to apologize to you for that, and to report to anybody who might be listening, that when somebody’s willing to come forward, even under those circumstances, even — haven’t been — not given the modicum of courtesy and support of a proper investigation, you’ve shown yourself particularly proud in doing that.
And the responsibility for the decision to have this be, I think, the only background investigation in history to be stopped as derogatory information came forward, belongs with 13 men: the president, Director Wray of the FBI, and the 11 members of the majority of this committee.
As to the committee’s investigation, the fact that Mr. Kavanaugh’s alleged accomplice has not been subpoenaed, has not been examined and cross-examined under oath, has not been interviewed by the FBI, tells you all you need to know about how credible this performance is.
The very bare minimum that a person who comes forward is owed, is sincere and thorough investigation and you’ve been denied that. And I will make a personal pledge to you, here, that however long it takes, in whatever forum I can do it, whenever it’s possible, I will do whatever’s in my power to make sure that your claims get a full and proper investigation and not just this.
Thank you for being here.
FORD: Thank you.
GRASSLEY: Since this issue’s come up so many times, I’d like to comment.
The New Yorker published an anonymous account of allegations, September the 14th. Two days later, Dr. Ford identified herself as the victim in a Post article, detailing her allegations.
I immediately directed my staff to investigate. September the 17th, Dr. Ford’s counsel went on several television shows, requesting that her client have an opportunity to tell her story.
The same day, I scheduled a hearing for Monday, September the 24th giving Dr. Ford a week to prepare her testimony and come to Washington, D.C.
On September the 17th, the committee investigative staff reached out to Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh to schedule follow-up interviews with Republican and Democrat investigators.
Judge Kavanaugh accepted the opportunity to speak to the investigators under criminal penalty. Dr. Ford declined.
In his interview on September the 17th, Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegations and requested a hearing as soon as possible. Democratic staff refused to participate in that interview.
The next day, September the 18th, committee investigative staff contacted Mark Judge requesting an interview. Committee staff also learned the identity of two other alleged partygoers and requested interviews. Mark Judge submitted a statement under penalty of felony denying knowledge of the party described by Dr. Ford and states that he never saw Brett at the — in the manner described by Dr. Ford.
And I can go on and on about that, but we got to realize that what we have done in this case — all the time, you go through a background investigation by the FBI, then it comes to us and there’s always some holes in it that we have to follow-up on. And besides…
KLOBUCHAR: Mr. Chairman…
GRASSLEY: … we’re responding to Dr. Ford’s request to tell her story, that’s why we’re here.
KLOBUCHAR: … Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman…
GRASSLEY: … Ms. Mitchell, go for Senator…
KLOBUCHAR: … Mr. Chairman, I just want to point out that — to support what Senator Whitehouse said, in the Anita Hill case…
DURBIN?: Can we hear from Dr. — Dr. Ford?
KLOBUCHAR: … George Bush ordered that the investigation be opened again.
GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell, will you proceed for — for Senator Lee?
MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Ford, The Washington Post reported in their September 16th article that you did show them therapist notes. Is that incorrect?
FORD: I don’t remember physically showing her a note.
FORD: Perhaps my counsel did. I don’t — I don’t remember physically showing her my copy of the note.
FORD: But I — I just don’t remember. I’m sorry. I have retrieved a physical copy of those medical records.
MITCHELL: OK, thank you. You also attended individual therapy. Did you show any of those notes to the reporter from The Washington Post?
FORD: Again, I don’t remember if I showed her — like, something that I summarized, or if I just spoke about it or if she saw it in my counsel’s office. I can’t — I — I don’t know for sure, but I certainly spoke with her about the 2013 record with the individual therapist.
MITCHELL: And Brett Kavanaugh’s name is not in those notes, is that correct?
MITCHELL: OK. In reading The Washington Post article, it mentions that this incident that we’re here about contributed to anxiety and PTSD problems with which you have struggled. The word contributed, does that mean that there are other things that have happened that have also contributed to anxiety and PTSD?
FORD: I think that’s a great question. I think the etiology if anxiety and PTSD is multifactorial. So that was certainly a critical risk — risk that — we would call a risk factor in science, so that would be a predictor of the symptoms that I now have.
It doesn’t mean that other things that have happened in my life would have — would make it worse or better. There are other risk factors as well.
MITCHELL: So have there been other things, then, that have contributed to the anxiety and PTSD that you suffered?
FORD: Well, I think there’s, sort of, biological predispositions that everyone in here has for particular disorders. So I can’t rule out that I would have some biological predisposition to be, you know…
MITCHELL: What about…
FORD: … an anxious type person.
MITCHELL: … what about environmental?
FORD: Environmentally, not that I can think of.
FORD: Certainly, no — nothing as striking as that event.
MITCHELL: OK. In your interview with The Washington Post, you said that you told your husband early in your marriage that you had been a victim of, and I quote, “physical abuse.” In your statement, you said that before you were married, you told him that you had experienced, quote, “a sexual assault.” Do these two things refer to the same incident?
MITCHELL: And at either point on these two times, did you use any names?
May I ask, Dr. Ford, how did you get to Washington?
FORD: In an airplane.
MITCHELL: OK. It’s — I ask that, because it’s been reported by the press that you would not submit to an interview with the committee because of your fear of flying. Is — is that true?
FORD: Well, I was willing — I was hoping that they would come to me, but then I realized that was an unrealistic request.
MITCHELL: It would’ve been a quicker trip for me.
FORD: Yes. So that was certainly what I was hoping, was to avoid having to get on an airplane, but I eventually was able to get up the gumption with the help of some friends, and get on the plane.
MITCHELL: OK (ph). When you were here in the mid — mid-Atlantic area back in August, end of July, August, how did you get here?
FORD: Also by airplane. I come here once a year during the summer to visit my family.
FORD: I’m sorry, not here. I go to Delaware.
MITCHELL: OK. In fact, you fly fairly frequently for your hobbies and your — you’ve had to fly for your work. Is that true?
FORD: Correct, unfortunately.
MITCHELL: You — you were a consulting biostatistician in Sydney, Australia. Is that right?
FORD: I’ve never been to Australia, but the company that I worked for is based in Australia, and they have an office in San Francisco, California.
FORD: I — I don’t think I’ll make it to Australia.
MITCHELL: It is long.
I also saw on your C.V. that you list the following interests of surf travel, and you, in parentheses” Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Pacific islands and French Polynesia.” Have you been all to those places?
MITCHELL: By airplane?
MITCHELL: And your interests also include oceanography, Hawaiian and Tahitian culture. Did you travel by air as a part of those interests?
MITCHELL: All right. Thank you very much.
FORD: Easier for me to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation.
GRASSLEY: (OFF MIKE) Senator Klobuchar.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for being here, Dr. Ford.
You know, in my old job as a prosecutor, we investigated reports like this, so it gave me a window on the types of cases that hurt women and hurt all of us. And I would always tell the women that came before us that they were going to have to tell their story before a jury box of strangers. And you’ve had to tell your story before the entire nation.
For so many years, people swept cases like yours under the rug. They’d say what happens inside a house didn’t belong in the courthouse. Well, the times have changed, so I just want to thank you for coming forward today, and for sharing your report with us.
Now, I understand that you’ve taken a polygraph test, Dr. Ford, that found that you were being truthful when you described what happened to you. Can you tell us why you decided to take that test?
FORD: I was meeting with attorneys. I was interviewing various attorneys, and the attorneys I asked if I was willing to take it, and I said absolutely. That said, it was almost as anxiety-provoking as an airplane flight.
KLOBUCHAR: OK. And you’ve talked about your recollections, and seeing Mark Judge at that Safeway. If there had been an appropriate reopening of this background check and FBI interviews, would that help you find the time period, if you knew when he worked at that Safeway?
FORD: I feel like I could be much more helpful if I could be provided with that date through employment records or the IRS or something, any – anything that would help.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. I would assume that’s true.
Dr. Ford, under federal law — and I don’t expect you to know this, but statements made to medical professionals are considered to be more reliable. There’s a federal rule of evidence about this. You told your counselor about this back in 2012, is that right?
FORD: My therapist?
FORD: My individual therapist. Correct.
KLOBUCHAR: Right and I understand that your husband was also present when you spoke about this incident in front of a counselor and he recalls you using Judge Kavanaugh’s name. Is that right?
FORD: Yes, I just have to slow down a minute because I might have been confusing. So there were two separate incidents…
FORD: …where it’s reflected in my medical record. I had talked about it more than those two times, but therapists don’t typically write down content as much as they write down process. They usually are tracking your symptoms and not your story and the facts.
KLOBUCHAR: Yes. Right.
FORD: I just happen to have it in my record twice. So the first time is in 2012 with my husband in couples therapy with the quibbling over the remodel, and then in 2013 with my individual therapist.
KLOBUCHAR: OK, so if — if someone had actually done an investigation your husband would have been able to say that you named his name at that time?
KLOBUCHAR: OK. I know you’ve been concerned…
KLOBUCHAR: …with your privacy throughout the process, and you first requested that your account be kept confidential. Can you briefly tell us why?
FORD: Yes. So as I stated before, once — I was unsuccessful in getting my information to you before the candidate was chosen. My original intent was to get the information when there was still a list of other candidates available. And once that was not successful and I saw that persons were very supportive of the nominee, I tracked it…
FORD: …all summer and realized that when I was calculating that risk-benefit ratio that it looked like I was going to just, you know, suffer only for no reason.
KLOBUCHAR: OK. You know from my experience with memory, I remember distinctly things that happened to me in high school or happened to me in college.
KLOBUCHAR: But I don’t exactly remember the date. I don’t exactly remember the time. I sometimes may not even remember the exact place where it occurred, but I remember the interaction.
And many people are focused today on what you’re not able to remember about that night. I actually think you remember a lot. I’m going to phrase it a little differently: can you tell us what you don’t forget about that night?
FORD: The stairwell, the living room, the bedroom, the bed on the right side of the room as you walk into the room. There was a bed to the right. The bathroom in close proximity, the laughter, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you very much Dr. Ford.
GRASSLEY: Dr. Ford. I’m going to correct the record but it’s not something that I’m saying that you stated wrongly because you may not know the fact that when – when you said that you didn’t think it was possible for us to go to California as a committee or our investigators to go to California to talk to you, we did, in fact, offer that to you and we had the capability of doing it and we would’ve done it anywhere or anytime.
FORD: Thank you.
KLOBUCHAR: And Mr. Chairman, could I put the polygraph results on the record, please? The polygraph results in the record.
KLOBUCHAR: Is there any objection?
GRASSLEY: Oh, or — let us see the chart.
KLOBUCHAR: The polygraph? You want to all see it?
GRASSLEY: Will you hold just a minute, please?
KLOBUCHAR: I think you may have it.
GRASSLEY: Yes, can we have the underlying charts, too?
KLOBUCHAR: The underlying charts? I have the polygraph results that I would just like to put in the record. I’ll — I’ll deal with the charts after that. Could I put the polygraph tests in the record?
BROMWICH: Mr. Chairman, we were — we had proposed having the polygraph examiner testify, as you know. If that had happened, the full panoply of materials that he had supporting his examination would have been provided. You rejected that request, so what we did provide was the polygraph report, which is what the members of the committee currently have.
KLOBUCHAR: And on September 26th, Mr. Chairman, this was actually sent to your chief counsel. And I just want to share with America so that they have this report as well.
GRASSLEY: OK. We will accept, without objection, what you asked us to include but we’re also requesting and expect the other materials that I’ve just stated.
KLOBUCHAR: But Mr. Chairman, you wouldn’t allow the underlying witness who performed the polygraph test to testify, nor would you allow Mark Judge to testify. And so I would just like to point out — thank you for allowing this report in the record, but that is the reason that we don’t have the underlying information for you.
GRASSLEY: You got what you wanted, I think you’d be satisfied.
BROMWICH: Mr. Chairman…
KLOBUCHAR: I am satisfied with that. Thank you.
GRASSLEY: Senator — go ahead.
GRAHAM: When was the polygraph administered?
KLOBUCHAR: It was administered on August the 7th…
GRAHAM: When was…
KLOBUCHAR: …in 2018 and it was — the date of the report is August 10, 2018, Mr. Graham.
GRAHAM: When was it provided to the committee?
GRASSLEY: Let’s just see if we can’t do this in a more orderly way. Let’s…
KLOBUCHAR: Well, it was — I was — he was asking and I have it right here and you have it as well. It was…
GRASSLEY: We’ve accepted…
KLOBUCHAR: …September 26th.
GRASSLEY: We’ve accepted it.
KLOBUCHAR: All right.
GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell for Senator Cruz.
MITCHELL: Thank you. Dr. Ford, we’ve talked about the day and the night that you’ve described in the summer of 1982. And thank you for being willing to do that. I know it’s difficult. I’d like to shift gears and discuss the last several months.
MITCHELL: In your statement, you said that on July 6th, you had a, quote, “sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president.” Did you contact either the Senate or the president on or before July 6th?
FORD: No, I did not. I did not know how to do that.
MITCHELL: OK. Prior to July 6th, had you spoken to any member of Congress? And when I say Congress, I mean the Senate or the House of Representatives or any congressional staff members about your allegations?
MITCHELL: Why did you contact the Washington Post, then, on July 6th?
FORD: So, I was panicking because I knew the timeline was short for the decision and people were giving me advice on the beach. People who don’t know about the processes, but they were giving me advice.
And many people told me, “You need to hire a lawyer,” and I didn’t do that. I didn’t understand why I would need a lawyer. Somebody said, “Call the New York Times, call the Washington Post, put in an anonymous tip, go to your congressperson.”
And when I weighed those options, I felt like the best option was to try to do the civic route which is to go to my congressperson, who happens to be Anna Eshoo. So I called her office and I also put in the anonymous tip to The Washington Post. And neither — unfortunately, neither got back to me in — before the selection of the nominee.
MITCHELL: You testified that Congresswoman Eshoo’s office contacted you on July 9th, is that right?
FORD: They contacted me the date that the nominee was announced, so that seems likely what…
MITCHELL: Had you talked to — about your allegations with anyone in her office before the date of July 9th?
FORD: I told the receptionist on the phone.
MITCHELL: OK. On July 10th, you texted The Washington Post again, which was really the third time, is that right? Second date, third time.
FORD: Let’s see.
(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE) One moment.
MITCHELL: And you texted — been advised to contact senators or New York Times, haven’t heard back from Washington Post. Who…
MITCHELL: … advised you to contact senators or The New York Times?
FORD: Beach friends…
FORD: … coming up with ideas of how I could try to get to people because people weren’t responding to me very quickly. So very quickly, they responded to that text for what — unknown reason that once I sent that encrypted text, they responded very quickly.
MITCHELL: Did you contact The New York Times?
MITCHELL: OK. Why not?
FORD: I wasn’t interested in pursuing the media route, particularly. So I felt like one was enough, The Washington Post, and I was nervous about doing that. My preference was to talk with my congressperson.
MITCHELL: OK. The Washington Post texted back that someone would get in touch — get you in touch with a reporter. Did you subsequently talk to a reporter with The Washington Post?
FORD: Yes, under the encrypted app and off the record.
MITCHELL: OK. Who was that reporter?
FORD: Emma Brown.
MITCHELL: OK. The person who ultimately wrote the story on September 16th?
MITCHELL: OK. Did you talk to any member of Congress — and, again, remember Congress includes the Senate, or the House of Representatives or any congressional staff members — about your allegations between July 10th and the July — and July 30th, which was the date of your letter to Senator Feinstein?
FORD: Yes, I met with Congresswoman Eshoo’s staff. And I think that’s July 18th, the Wednesday, and then on the Friday I met with the congresswoman herself.
MITCHELL: OK. When you met with her, did you meet with her alone or did someone come with you?
FORD: I was alone. She had a staff person.
MITCHELL: OK. What did you talk about with Congresswoman Eshoo and her staff on July 18th and the 20th?
FORD: I described the night of the incident and we spent time speaking about that. And I asked her how to — what my options were in terms of going forward and how to get that information relayed forward. And I also talked to her about fears of whether this was confidential information. And she talked about the constituent confidentiality principle.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
GRASSLEY: Senator Coons.
COONS: Thank you, Chairman Grassley. I’d like to ask unanimous consent to submit for the record five articles, including one titled “Why Sexual Assault Memories Stick,” and one entitled “Why Didn’t Kavanaugh Accuser Come Forward Earlier? Police Often Ignore Sexual Assault Allegations.”
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered.
COONS: Dr. Ford, I want to begin by thanking you for coming to testify in front of us today. You came forward with very serious and relevant information about a nominee for a lifetime position on our Supreme Court. You didn’t have to, and I know you’ve done it at great personal cost. This is a public service, and I want you to know that I’m grateful to have the opportunity to hear from you directly today.
I’d like to just first follow up on that line of questioning Ms. Mitchell was following, because I think a lot of people don’t realize that you chose to come forward with your concerns about Judge Kavanaugh before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. Do I understand correctly that when you — when you first reached out to Congresswoman Eshoo and to the Washington Post tip line, that was when he was on the short list, but before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. Is that correct?
COONS: And if I understood your testimony earlier, it’s that you were motivated by a sense of civic duty, and — and frankly, a hope that some other highly-qualified nominee might be picked, not out of a motivation at a late stage to have an impact on the final decision.
FORD: Correct. I thought it was very important to get the information to you, but I didn’t know how to do it while there was still a short list of candidates.
COONS: Thank you, Doctor.
According to Justice Department data, about two thirds of sexual assault survivors don’t report their assaults. Based on your experience, I’d be interested in hearing from you about this, because you bore this alone. You bore this alone for a very long time, and it’d be helpful for us to better understand the ways that that’s impacted your whole life.
FORD: Well, it’s — it’s impacted me at different stages of the development of my life. So the immediate impact was probably the worst, so the first four years. I think I described earlier a fairly disastrous first two years of undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina, where I was finally able to pull myself together. And then, once coping with — with the immediate impacts, the short-term impacts, I experienced, like, longer-term impacts of anxiety and relationship challenges.
COONS: Thank you for sharing that. And — and yet, you went on to get a PhD from USC. Is that correct?
COONS: As you predicted, there was a wide range of responses to your coming forward. Some thousands of survivors have been motivated and inspired by your courage; others have been critical. And as I’ve reviewed the wide range of reactions, I’ve been really troubled by the excuse offered by too many, that this was a high school incident, and boys will be boys. To me, that’s just far too low a standard for the conduct of boys and men in our country. If you would, I’d appreciate your reaction to the excuse that boys will be boys.
FORD: I can only speak for how it has impacted me greatly for the last 36 years, even though I was 15 years old at the time. And I think, you know, the younger you are when these things happen, it could possibly have worse impact than when you’re a full — when your brain is fully-developed, and you have better coping skills that you’ve developed.
COONS: You know, experts have written about how it’s common for sexual assault survivors to remember some facts about the experience very sharply and very clearly, but not others, and that has to do with the survival mode that we go into in experiencing trauma. Is that your experience, and is that something you can help the layperson understand?
FORD: Yes. I was definitely experiencing the fight-or-flight mode; is that what you’re referring to? Yes.
So I was definitely experiencing the surge of adrenaline and cortisol and norepinephrine and — credit that a little bit for my ability to get out of the situation.
But also some other lucky events that occurred. That…
FORD: …allowed me to get out of the event.
COONS: Dr. Ford, we are grateful that you came through it and that you shared your account with us and the American people. And I think you’ve provided important information. I’d like to thank you for your — meeting your civic duty.
I wish we could have provided for you a more thorough hearing today. I think asking for the FBI to investigate this matter thoroughly was not asking too much. I think asking to have the other individual involved in your assault, Mark Judge, appear before us today was not asking too much.
I’m grateful you came forward, and I’m thankful for your courage, which set an important example. Thank you, Dr. Ford.
GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell, for Senator Sasse.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford, we were talking about you meeting in July with Congresswoman Eshoo.
MITCHELL: Did you talk about your allegations with any Republican member of Congress or congressional staff?
FORD: I did not. Where I live, the congresswoman is a Democrat.
Was it communicated to you by your counsel or someone else, that the committee had asked to interview you and that — that they offered to come out to California to do so?
BROMWICH: We’re going to object, Mr. Chairman, to any call for privileged conversations between counsel and Dr. Ford. It’s a privileged conversation…
GRASSLEY: Would — could — could we — could you validate the fact that the offer was made without her saying a word?
GRASSLEY: Is it possible for that question to be answered without violating any counsel relationships?
FORD: Can I say something to you — do you mind if I say something to you directly?
FORD: I just appreciate that you did offer that. I wasn’t clear on what the offer was. If you were going to come out to see me, I would have happily hosted you and had you — had been happy to speak with you out there. I just did not — it wasn’t clear to me that that was the case.
GRASSLEY: OK. Does that take care of your question?
MITCHELL: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: OK. Proceed, then.
MITCHELL: Before July 30th, the date on your letter to Senator Feinstein, had you retained counsel with regard to these allegations?
FORD: No. I didn’t think — I didn’t understand why I would need lawyers, actually. That’s what — I just didn’t know.
MITCHELL: A lot of people have that feeling.
Let’s talk about the letter that you wrote on July 30th. You asked Senator Feinstein to main (ph) confidentiality, quote, “until”…
BROMWICH: Wait — wait until she retrieves it.
MITCHELL: Oh, I’m sorry.
FORD: OK. I’m just trying to look for it, which one?
BROMWICH: I think it’s — I think it’s the (inaudible).
GRASSLEY: Stop the clock, will you?
BROMWICH: It’s in there someplace.
Here we go…
FORD: Oh, I found it.
BROMWICH: …here it is. You’ve got it.
MITCHELL: OK. You asked Senator Feinstein to maintain confidentiality “until we have had further opportunity to speak,” and then said you were available to speak further vacationing in the Mid-Atlantic until August 7th. Is that correct?
FORD: The last line, is that what you’re — I’m — I’m now just catching up with you, sorry. I’m a little slower. My mind is getting a little tired.
“I am available to speak further, should you wish to discuss. I am” — yes, I was in Delaware until August 7.
FORD: And after that, I went to New Hampshire and then back to California.
MITCHELL: Did you talk with anybody about this letter before you sent it?
FORD: I talked with Anna Eshoo’s office.
MITCHELL: OK. And why did you talk to Congresswoman Eshoo’s office about that letter?
FORD: Because they were willing to hand-deliver it to Senator Feinstein.
MITCHELL: OK. Did anyone help you write the letter?
MITCHELL: OK. After you sent your letter, did you or anyone on your behalf speak to Senator Feinstein personally or with any Senate staffer?
FORD: I had a phone call with Senator Feinstein.
MITCHELL: OK. And when was that?
FORD: That was while I was still in Delaware, so before August 7th.
MITCHELL: OK. And how many times did you speak with Senator Feinstein?
MITCHELL: OK. What did you talk about?
FORD: She asked me some questions about the incident.
FORD: And I answered those questions.
MITCHELL: OK. Was that the extent of — the gist of the conversation?
FORD: Yes, it was a fairly brief phone — phone call.
MITCHELL: OK. Did you ever give Senator Feinstein or anyone else the permission to release that letter?
FORD: Not that I know of, no.
MITCHELL: OK. Between the letter date, July 30th and August the 7th, did you speak with any other person about your allegations?
FORD: Could you say the dates again?
MITCHELL: Between the letter date of July 30 and August 7 — so, while you were still in Delaware — did you speak with any other person about your allegations?
FORD: I’m just trying to remember what dates that.
GRASSLEY: Stop the…
(UNKNOWN): You’re asking her…
GRASSLEY: … Yes, stop the — stop the clock.
(UNKNOWN): … with the exclusion of any lawyers that she may have spoken with, correct?
FORD: Correct — I think correct, then. I was interviewing lawyers…
GRASSLEY: Stop the clock.
FORD: … but I was not…
FORD: … speaking personally about it.
MITCHELL: Aside from Lawyers that you were seeking to possibly hire to represent you, did you speak to anybody else about it during that period of time?
FORD: I was staying with my parents at the time.
MITCHELL: Did you talk to them about it?
FORD: Definitely not.
MITCHELL: OK. So would it be fair to say that you retained counsel during that time period of July 30th to August 7th?
FORD: I can’t remember the exact date, but it was the — I was interviewing lawyers during that period of time, sitting in the car in the driveway and in the Walgreens parking lot in Rehoboth, Delaware. And I’m trying to figure out how the whole system works of interviewing lawyers and how to pick one, et cetera, so.
MITCHELL: You testified earlier that you had — you didn’t see the need for lawyers. And now, you’re trying to hire them. What made you change your mind?
FORD: It seemed like most of the individuals that I had told, which didn’t — the — the total number — the total was not very high. But those persons advised me to, at this point, get a lawyer for advice about whether to push forward or to stay back.
MITCHELL: Did that include Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Feinstein?
GRASSLEY: I want to thank Dr. Ford for what you said about acknowledging that we had said we’d come to California.
BLUMENTHAL: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
I want to join in thanking you for being here today. And just tell you I have found your testimony powerful, incredible and I believe you. You’re a teacher, correct?
BLUMENTHAL: Well, you have given America an amazing teaching moment, and you may have other moments in the classroom, but you have inspired and you have enlightened America. You have inspired and given courage to women to come forward, as they have done to every one of our offices and many other public places. You have inspired and you have enlightened men in America to listen respectfully to women survivors, and men who have survived sexual attack, and that is a profound public service, regardless of what happens with this nomination. And so the teachers of America, the people of America should be really proud of what you have done.
Let me tell you why I believe you: not only because of the prior consistent statements and the polygraph tests and your request for an FBI investigation and your urging that this committee hear from other witnesses who could corroborate or dispute your story, but also, you have been very honest about what you cannot remember. And someone composing a story can make it all come together in a seamless way, but someone who is honest — I speak from my experience as a prosecutor, as well — is also candid about what she or he cannot remember.
The senators on the other side of the aisle have been silent. This procedure is unprecedented in a confirmation hearing. But I want to quote one of my colleagues, Senator Lindsey Graham, in a book that he wrote in 2015, when he was describing his own service, and very distinguished Naval service as a traveler.
GRAHAM: (OFF MIKE) Air Force, Air Force.
BLUMENTHAL: I’m not under oath.
(UNKNOWN): I don’t want to be in the Navy (ph).
BLUMENTHAL: He said, quote, of his prosecutions of rape cases, “I learned how much unexpected courage from a deep and hidden place it takes for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant.” I learned how much courage from a deep and hidden place it takes for a rape victim or sexually abused child to testify against their assailant. If we agree on nothing else today, I hope on a bipartisan basis, we can agree on how much courage it has taken for you to come forward, and I think you have earned America’s gratitude.
Now, there’s been some talk about your requesting an FBI investigation, and you mentioned a point just a few minutes ago that you could better-estimate the time that you ran into Mark Judge if you knew the time that he was working at that supermarket. That’s a fact that could be uncovered by an FBI investigation that would help further elucidate your account. Would you like Mark Judge to be interviewed in connection with the background investigation and the serious credible allegations that you’ve made?
FORD: That would be my preference. I’m not sure it’s really up to me, but I certainly would feel like I could be more helpful to everyone if I knew the date that he worked at the Safeway so that I could give a better — a more specific date of the assault.
BLUMENTHAL: Well, it’s not up to you. It’s up to the president of the United States, and his failure to ask for an FBI investigation, in my view, is tantamount to a cover-up.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: Now it’s time for Senator Flake. Ms. Mitchell for Senator Flake.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
And we’ve heard this morning several times that you did take a polygraph, and that was on August the 7th. Is that right?
FORD: I believe so. It was the day I was flying from BWI to Manchester, New Hampshire.
MITCHELL: OK. Why did you decide to take a polygraph?
FORD: I — I didn’t see any reason not to do it.
MITCHELL: Were you advised to do that?
BROMWICH: Again, you’re — you’re seeming to call for communications between counsel and client. I don’t think you mean to do that. If you do, she shouldn’t have to answer that.
GRASSLEY: Could — what — Counsel, could you let her answer the extent to which it doesn’t violate the — the relationship between you and Dr. Ford?
BROMWICH: Say what you understood.
FORD: Based on the advice of the counsel, I was happy to undergo the polygraph test, although I found it extremely stressful, much longer than I anticipated. I told my whole life story, I felt like, but I endured it. It was fine.
MITCHELL: I understand they can be that way.
Have you ever taken any other polygraphs in your life?
MITCHELL: OK. You went to see a gentleman by the name of Jeremiah Hanafin to serve as the polygrapher. Did anyone advise you on that choice?
FORD: Yes, I believe his name was Jerry.
MITCHELL: Jerry Hanafin.
MITCHELL: OK. Did anyone advise you on that choice?
FORD: I don’t understand the — the — yeah, I didn’t choose him myself. He was the person that came to do the polygraph test.
MITCHELL: OK. He actually conducted the polygraph, not in his office in Virginia, but actually, at the hotel next to Baltimore Washington Airport. Is that right?
MITCHELL: Why was that location chosen for the polygraph?
FORD: I had left my grandmother’s funeral at Fort Lincoln Cemetery that day, and was on tight schedule to get a plane to Manchester, New Hampshire, so he was willing to come to me, which was appreciated.
MITCHELL: So he administered a polygraph on the day that you attended your grandmother’s funeral.
FORD: Yeah, correct.
FORD: Or it might have been the next day. I spent the night in a hotel, so (inaudible) the exact day.
MITCHELL: Have you ever had discussions with anyone, beside your attorneys, on how to take a polygraph?
MITCHELL: And I don’t just mean countermeasures, but I mean just any sort of tips, or anything like that.
FORD: No. I was scared of the test itself, but was comfortable that I could tell the information, and the test would reveal whatever it was going to reveal. I didn’t expect it to be as long as it was going to be, so it was a little bit stressful.
MITCHELL: Had — have you ever given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test?
MITCHELL: OK. Did you pay for the polygraph yourself?
FORD: I don’t — I don’t — I don’t think so.
MITCHELL: OK. Do you know who did pay for the polygraph?
FORD: Not yet, so.
MITCHELL: Did — you — you have the hand-written statement that you wrote out. Did anyone assist you in writing that statement?
FORD: No, but you can tell how anxious I was by the terrible handwriting.
MITCHELL: Did you — we — we touched on it earlier. Did you know that the committee has requested the — not only the charts from the polygraph test, but also any audio or video recording of the polygraph test?
MITCHELL: Were you audio- and video-recorded when you were taking that test?
FORD: OK, so I remember being hooked up to a machine, like, be — being placed onto my body, and being asked a lot of questions, and crying a lot. That’s my primary memory of that test. I don’t know — I know he took laborious detail into explaining what he was going to be doing, but I was just focused on kind of what I was going to say, and my fear about that. I wasn’t listening to every detail about the — what — whether it was audio- or video-recorded.
MITCHELL: Well, you were in a hotel room, right?
MITCHELL: A regular hotel room with a bed and bathroom?
FORD: No, no, no. It was a conference room.
FORD: So I was sitting at a chair, and he was behind me.
MITCHELL: Did you note any cameras in the room?
FORD: Well, he had a computer set up, so I guess I assumed that he was somehow taping and recording me.
MITCHELL: OK. So you assumed you were being video- and audio-recorded.
MITCHELL: But you don’t know for sure.
FORD: I don’t know for sure.
MITCHELL: OK, thank you.
GRASSLEY: We’re going to recess now for a half hour for lunch. Thank you, Dr. Ford.
FORD: We’re going to keep going for (inaudible)
FEINSTEIN: So 10 minutes after one, we’re going to…
GRASSLEY: Yeah, roughly. Yeah.
GRASSLEY: Dr. Ford, you tell me when you’re ready. You…
FORD: I’m just organizing my papers. I’ll be ready in…
GRASSLEY: Take as long as you need.
FORD: … 20 seconds. Thank you.
HIRONO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, is it your intent to cede all Republican senators’ time to your prosecutor, rather than they themselves ceding their time to her?
HIRONO: We all know that the prosecutor, even though this clearly is not a criminal proceeding, is asking Dr. Ford all kinds of questions about what happened before and after, but basically not during the attack. The prosecutor should know that sexual assault survivors often do not remember peripheral information such as what happened before or after the traumatic event, and yet, she will persist in asking these questions all to undermine the memory and basically, the credibility of Dr. Ford. But we all know Dr. Ford’s memory of the assault is very clear.
Dr. Ford, the Republican’s prosecutor has asked you all kinds of questions about who you called and when, asking details that would be asked in a cross-examination of a witness in a criminal trial. But this is not a criminal proceeding. This is a confirmation proceeding. I think I know what she’s trying to get at, so I’ll just ask you very plainly, Dr. Ford, is there a political motivation for your coming forward with your account of the assault by Brett Kavanaugh?
FORD: No, and I’d like to reiterate that again, I was trying to get the information to you while there was still a list of other…
HIRONO: Thank you.
FORD: … what looked like equally-qualified candidates.
HIRONO: And yet, they’re not here to testify.
Dr. Ford, I’d like to join my colleagues who have thanked you for coming forward today. And I, and we all admire you for what you’re doing, and I understand why you have come forward. You wanted us and the American people to know what you knew about the character, the character of a man we are considering for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
I want to take a moment, also, to note the significant personal sacrifices you’ve made to come forward to share your traumatic experience with us and the American people. You’ve had to move. You’ve had death threats, all manner of — of basically re-victimization experiences have come your ways. But by coming forward, you have inserted the question of character into this nomination, and hopefully, back into American life, and rightly so. We should be made to face the question of who it is we are putting in positions of power and decision-making in this country. We should look the question square in the face: does character matter? Do our values, our real values about what is right and what is wrong, and about whether we treat our fellow human beings with dignity and respect, do they matter anymore? I believe they do, and I believe the reaction we have seen to this coverage right now, and your courage all over this country shows us that we’re not alone, you’re not alone; that women and men all across America are disgusted and sick and tired of the way basic human decency has been driven from our public life.
The president admits on tape to assaulting women. He — he separates children from their parents. He takes basic healthcare protections from those who need them most. He nominates and stands behind a man who stands credibly accused of a horrible act. I, again, want to thank you for coming forward.
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that six items consisting of various statements, letters, fact sheet, posts are inserted into the record.
GRASSLEY: Is that one request, or you want me to wait for six?
HIRONO: Well, I have six separate items.
HIRONO: Because as — I can go over them for you.
GRASSLEY: OK, no.
HIRONO: I would like to…
GRASSLEY: Let me not interrupt you.
GRASSLEY: Your — your request is accepted without objection.
HIRONO: Thank you. And I would like to read from a — an item that has already been entered into the record. But this is from a letter from the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The letter states, and I quote this letter, “This moment has become a crucible. It’s a test of our progress. Do we start by believing victims of sexual assault and treating them with dignity, or don’t we? So far, Senate leaders are failing that test, prejudging the outcome of a hearing, sympathizing with her perpetrator, attacking her credibility. They send a message to every victim of sexual violence that their pain doesn’t matter, that they do not deserve justice, and that for them, fair treatment is out of reach. This will only serve to drive victims into the shadows, and further emboldening abusers.”
Once again, Dr. Ford, thank you very much. This is a moment for our country. Mahalo.
GRASSLEY: Senator — Ms. Mitchell for Senator Crapo.
MITCHELL: Good afternoon.
MITCHELL: When we left off, we were still talking about the polygraph, and I believe you said it hasn’t been paid for yet. Is that correct?
(UNKNOWN): Let me put an end to this misery. Her lawyers have paid for her polygraph.
(UNKNOWN): As is routine.
(UNKNOWN): As is routine.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford, do you expect the price of that polygraph to be passed on to you?
FORD: I’m not sure yet. I haven’t taken a look at all of the costs involved in this. We’ve relocated now twice, so I haven’t kept track of all of that paperwork, but I’m sure I have a lot of work to do to catch up on all of that later.
MITCHELL: I — I — I get you have a lot going on, and you’ve had that for several months, but is it your understanding that someone else is going to assist you with some of these fees, including the cost for your polygraph?
FORD: I’m aware that there’s been several GoFundMe sites that I haven’t had a chance to figure out how to manage those, because I’ve never had one done for me.
MITCHELL: And I’m sorry, several what?
FORD: GoFundMe sites that have raised money, primarily for our security detail. So I’m not even quite sure how to collect that money or — and (ph) how to distribute it yet. I haven’t been able to focus on that.
MITCHELL: OK. In your testimony this morning, you stated that Senator Feinstein sent you a letter on August 31st of this year, is that right?
FORD: August 31st let me see.
GRASSLEY: Stop the clock (ph).
FORD: I sent her a letter on July 30th. And I don’t have the date. I’d have to pull up my e-mail to find out the date of her e-mail to me saying that — it was right before the hearings that she was going to maintain the confidentiality of the — of the letter.
MITCHELL: Say that again, it was right before the hearings, then what?
FORD: That’s my memory, but I could look it up for you. If you would like the exact date, I could pull it up on my e-mail.
MITCHELL: Yes, I just — I want to make sure…
(UNKNOWN): (inaudible) the date, counsel?
MITCHELL: I want to make sure I understood what she — you said.
(UNKNOWN): That document’s been turned over to — in response to a request for documents. You have it.
MITCHELL: Thank you, counsel. I want to make sure I understood what you said. Was it your understanding, it was going to be kept confidential up until right before the hearing?
FORD: It was my understanding that it was going to be kept confidential period.
MITCHELL: Period? OK. Between your polygraph on August the 7th and your receipt of the letter from Senator Feinstein, did you or anyone on your behalf speak to any member of Congress or congressional staff about these allegations?
FORD: I personally did not.
MITCHELL: So my question was, did you or anybody on your behalf.
FORD: I don’t — what do you mean, did someone speak for me?
MITCHELL: Somebody that worked — is working with you or helping you. Did somebody at your behest on your behalf speak to somebody in Congress or staff?
FORD: I’m not sure.
FORD: I’m not sure how those exchanges went, but I didn’t speak to anyone.
MITCHELL: OK. Is it possible that somebody did?
FORD: I — I — I think so, it would be possible. I — I’m guessing it would be possible (ph), but I don’t know.
(UNKNOWN): Excuse me. You’ve all asked her not to guess, and now you’re asking her what’s possible. So I think if you want to ask her what she knows, you should ask her what she knows.
MITCHELL: Is that an objection (ph), counsel?
(UNKNOWN): It is an objection (ph)…
MITCHELL: I’ll have the chair rule on that.
FORD: I don’t know what the — I don’t understand.
GRASSLEY: (OFF-MIKE) (inaudible) you should — you should answer the question, unless there’s a legal reason for not answering it on advice of your counsel.
FORD: So I don’t totally understand the question, but I didn’t speak with anyone during that timeframe other than my counsel.
MITCHELL: OK. You’ve said repeatedly that you did not think that that letter that you wrote on July 30th was going to be released to the public, is that correct?
MITCHELL: OK. And is it true that you did not authorize it to be released at any time?
MITCHELL: OK. Besides your attorneys, did you provide — you provided that letter to Senator Feinstein, is that correct?
FORD: I provided her a letter on July 30th.
MITCHELL: We’re talking about the July 30th…
MITCHELL: … letter.
MITCHELL: Did you — and you provided that letter to Senator Feinstein, correct?
MITCHELL: Is that a yes?
MITCHELL: And you provided the letter to Representative Eshoo to deliver to Senator Feinstein?
MITCHELL: Besides those two individuals, Representative Eshoo and Senator Feinstein, and your attorneys, did you provide that letter to anyone else?
MITCHELL: Do you know how that letter became public?
MITCHELL: OK. After that letter was made public or leaked, did you reach back out to The Washington Post?
FORD: I reached out to The Washington — well, they were continuously reaching out to me and I was not responding. But the time that I did respond and agree to do the sit-down was once the reporters started showing up at my home and at my workplace.
GRASSLEY: Senator Booker.
BOOKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Ford, thank you for being here. I just want to remind everyone that this is not a courtroom, this is not a legal proceeding, that you are here under your own volition and though the prosecutor’s been engaged here to represent my colleagues, you’re here, as you said, out of a — a civic duty.
And I — I want to join my colleagues that it — it’s really more than that. You know, our founding documents talk about civic duty. Our Declaration of Independence talks about for this country pledging your lives, your fortunes and your sacred honor.
And anybody who’s read your testimony knows what you’ve had to sacrifice by coming forward. Your life has been upended. You have received vicious, hateful threats, death threats. You’ve had to move out of your family home — to some expense, I imagine, to you and your family. You’ve had to engage security, to some expense. You’ve had to deal with incredible challenges.
And what’s amazing — and, I want to join my colleagues in thanking you for your courage and bravery in coming forward, all to help us deal with one of the most important obligations a senator has; to advise and consent on one of the branches of our government, the highest courts in the land, and the (ph) individual going before a lifetime appointment. And you even said that the president had a lot of folks on that list.
And your fear was that this individual who assaulted you would ascend to that seat. That’s correct, right?
BOOKER: Yes. And it is correct that you have given a lot of resources, taken a lot of threats to come forward, correct?
BOOKER: Assaults on your dignity and your humanity?
BOOKER: How has it affected your children?
FORD: They’re doing fairly well, considering. Thank you for asking.
BOOKER: And your husband?
FORD: Doing fairly well, considering. Yes, thank you. Thank — we have a very supportive community.
BOOKER: That’s good to hear. I want to use a different word for your courage because this is more — as much as this hearing is about a Supreme Court justice, the reality is — is by you coming forward, your courage, you are effecting the culture of our country.
We have a — a wonderful nation, an incredible culture. But there are dark elements that allow unconscionable levels of — unacceptable levels of sexual assault and harassment that are effecting girls and boys, and effecting men and women, from big media outlets, to corporations, to factory floors, to servers in restaurants, so our intimate spaces in homes and apartments all around this country.
I stepped out during the break and was deluged with notes from friends all around the country, social media posts, that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people watching your testimony right now. And in note after note that I got, people in tears feeling pain and anguish, not just feeling your pain but feeling their own, who have not come forward.
You are opening up to open air, hurt and pain that goes on across this country. And for that, the word I would use, it’s nothing short of heroic. Because what you’re doing for our nation right now, besides giving testimony germane to one the most sacred obligations of our offices, is you are speaking truth that this country needs to understand.
And how we deal with survivors who come forward right now is unacceptable. And the way we deal with this, unfortunately, allows for the continued darkness of this culture to exist. And your brilliance shining light onto this, speaking your truth is nothing short of heroic.
But to the matter at hand, one of my colleagues who I have a lot of respect for and I do consider him a friend went, to the Senate floor and spoke truth to both sides of the political aisle. Senator Flake said yesterday, “This is a lifetime appointment.” and, “This is said to be a deliberative body. In the interest of due diligence and fairness… her claims must be fully aired and considered.”
I agree with him. But you’ve asked for things that would give a full airing, from corroborating witnesses to be called, you’ve submitted to an intrusive polygraph test. Can you answer for me how do you feel that all the things that could have been done thoroughly to help this deliberative body, have not been honored in this so-called investigation?
FORD: I wish that I could be more helpful, and that others could be more helpful and that we could collaborate in a way that would get at more information.
BOOKER: Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I’d just like to introduce for the record, seven letters by the Lambda Legal; from Mormon Women for Ethical Government; youth-led organizations around this country; the International Unions Bricklayers, Allied Craftworkers; a letter from 295 survivors of sexual violence in support of Dr. Ford; and a letter from 1,600 men to campaign in support of Dr. Ford; and those who want to assert men and women that survivors of sexual violence are not opportunists, do not have political axes to grind, but are coming forward with courage and with heart to speak their truth and try to end the scourge of sexual assault and violence in our country.
GRASSLEY: Without objection, so ordered. Senator Tills — Ms. Mitchell, for Senator Tillis.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford, in choosing attorneys, did anyone help you with the choice on who to choose?
FORD: Various people referred me to lawyers they knew in the Washington, D.C. area. So as you know, I grew up in this area, so I asked some family members and friends and they would — they referred me to, like, divorce attorneys that might know somebody, that might know somebody and ended up interviewing several law firms from the D.C. area.
MITCHELL: And did anybody besides friends and family refer you to any attorneys?
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPELLING)
FORD: I think that the staff of Dianne Feinstein’s office suggested the possibility of some attorneys.
MITCHELL: OK. Including the two that are sitting on either side of you?
FORD: Not both of them, no.
MITCHELL: OK. We’ve heard a lot about FBI investigations. When did you personally first request an FBI investigation?
FORD: I guess when we first started talking about the possibility of a hearing; I was hoping that there would be an — a more thorough investigation.
MITCHELL: Would that investigation have been something that you would have submitted to an interview?
FORD: I would be happy to cooperate with the FBI, yes.
MITCHELL: Would you have been happy to submit to an interview on — by staff members from this committee?
MITCHELL: OK. Besides — you mentioned some GoFundMe accounts — besides those, are there any other efforts outside of your own personal finances to pay for your legal fees or any of the costs occurred — incurred?
FORD: It’s my understanding that some of my team is working on a pro bono basis, but I don’t know the exact details. And there are members of the community in Palo Alto that have the means to contribute to help me with the security detail, et cetera.
MITCHELL: Have you been provided…
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
BROMWICH: I — I can help you with that. Both her co-counsel (ph) are doing this pro bono. We are not being paid and we have no expectation of being paid.
MITCHELL: … Thank you, counsel. Have you seen any of the questions that I was going to ask you today?
MITCHELL: Have you — you’ve been asked a few questions by other people as well, have you seen any of those questions in advance?
MITCHELL: Have you been told them in advance?
MITCHELL: And — and likewise with my questions, have you been told my questions in advance?
FORD: Definitely not.
MITCHELL: OK. You mentioned about some possible information, such as when Mark Judge worked at the supermarket. I want to ask you about someone else. You mentioned that there was a classmate who was really sort of the connection between you and Brett Kavanaugh. Who was this person?
FORD: I — I think that that case with Mr. Whelan, who was looking at my LinkedIn page and then trying to blame the person, I just don’t feel like it’s right for us to be talking about that.
MITCHELL: I’m not trying to blame anybody, I just want to know who the common friend that you and…
FORD: The person that Mr. Whelan was trying to say looked like Mr. Kavanaugh.
MITCHELL: … OK. How long did you know this person?
FORD: Maybe for a couple of months we socialized, but he also was a member of the same country club and I know his younger brother as well.
MITCHELL: OK. So a couple of months before this took place?
MITCHELL: OK. How would you characterize your relationship with him, both before and after this took place, this person?
FORD: He was somebody that, we use the phrase, I went out with — I wouldn’t say date — I went out with for a few months. That was how we termed it at the time. And after that we were distant friends and ran into each other periodically at Columbia Country Club, but I didn’t see him often.
FORD: But I saw his brother and him several times.
MITCHELL: Was this person the only common link between you and Mr. — Judge Kavanaugh?
FORD: He’s the only one that I would be able to name right now — that I would like to not name, but you know who I mean. And — but there are certainly other members of Columbia Country Club that were common friends or they were more acquaintances of mine and friends of Mr. Kavanaugh.
MITCHELL: OK. Can you describe all of the other social interactions that you had with Mr. Kavanaugh?
FORD: Briefly, yes I can. There were during freshman and sophomore year, particularly my sophomore year which would have been his junior year of high school, four to five parties that my friends and I attended that were attended also by him.
MITCHELL: Did anything happen at these events like we’re talking about, besides the time we’re talking about?
GRASSLEY: You – you can answer that question then I’ll go to Senator Harris. Go ahead and answer that question.
FORD: There was no sexual assault at any of those events. Is that what you’re asking?
FORD: Yes, those were just parties.
MITCHELL: Or anything inappropriate is what I meant (ph).
FORD: Well maybe we can go into more detail when there’s more time, I feel time pressure on that question, yes.
FORD: Happy to answer in further detail if you want me to.
GRASSLEY: I’m sorry, go ahead and finish answering your question.
FORD: Oh OK. Did you want me to describe those parties or…
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
(UNKNOWN): Shouldn’t we leave this to the next round, Mr. Chairman?
GRASSLEY: Answer the question.
FORD: I’m just happy to describe them if you wanted me to and I’m happy to not. It’s just whatever you want.
MITCHELL: Maybe this will —
FORD: Whatever is your preference.
MITCHELL: — cut to the chase. My question is was there anything else that was sexually inappropriate, any inappropriate sexual behavior on the part of Mr. Kavanaugh towards you at any of these other functions?
GRASSLEY: Senator Harris.
HARRIS: Dr. Ford, first of all just so we can level set, you know you are not on trial. You are not on trial. You are sitting here before members of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee because you had the courage to come forward because as you have said, you believe it was your civic duty.
I was struck in your testimony by what you indicated as your intention when you first let anyone associated with these hearings know about it. And what you basically said is you reached out to your representative in the United States Congress, hoping that person would inform the White House before Judge Kavanaugh had been named.
That’s extremely persuasive about your motivation for coming forward. And so I want to thank you, I want to thank you for your courage and I want to tell you I believe you. I believe you.
And I believe many Americans across this country believe you. And what I find striking about your testimony is you remember key searing details of what happened to you. You told you husband and therapist, two of the most intimate of your confidants, and you told them years ago about this assault.
You have shared your experience with multiple friends years after that and before these hearings ever started. I know having personally prosecuted sexual assault cases and child sexual assault cases, that study after study shows trauma, shame and the fear of consequences almost always cause survivors to, at the very least, delay reporting if they ever report at all.
Police recognize that, prosecutors recognize that, medical and mental health professionals recognize that. The notes from your therapy sessions were created long before this nomination and corroborate what you have said today.
You have passed a polygraph – polygraph and submitted the results to this committee. Judge Kavanaugh has not. You have called for outside witnesses to testify and for expert witnesses to testify. Judge Kavanaugh has not.
But most importantly you have called for an independent FBI investigation into the facts. Judge Kavanaugh has not. And we owe you that, we owe the American people that. And let’s talk about why this is so important.
Contrary to what has been said today, the FBI does not reach conclusions. The FBI investigates. It interviews witnesses, gathers facts and then presents that information to the United States Senate for our consideration and judgment.
This committee knows that, in spite of what you have been told. In 1991 during a similar hearing, one of my Republican colleagues in this committee stated these claims were taken seriously by having the Federal Bureau of Investigations launch an inquiry to determine their validity.
The FBI fulfilled its duty and issued a confidential report. Well that could have and should have been done here. This morning it was said that this could have been investigated confidentially back in July, but this also could have been investigated in the last 11 days since you came forward, yet that has not happened.
The FBI could have interviewed Mark Judge, Patrick Smith, Leland – Leland Keyser, you and Judge Kavanaugh on these issues. The FBI could have examined various maps that have been presented by the prosecutor who stands in for the United States senators on this committee.
The FBI could have gathered facts about the music or the conversation or any other details about the gathering that occurred that evening. That is standard procedure in a sexual assault case.
In fact, the manual that is – was signed off by Ms. Mitchell, the manual that is posted on the Maricopa County attorney’s website as a guiding principle and best practices for what should happen with sexual assault cases highlights the details of what should happen in terms of the need for an objective investigation into any sexual assault case.
It says, quote, “effective investigation requires cooperation with a multi-disciplinary team that includes medical professionals, victim advocates, dedicated forensic interviewers, criminalists and other law enforcement members.”
The manual also stresses the importance of obtaining outside witness information. You have bravely come forward, you have bravely come forward. And I want to thank you because you clearly have nothing to gain for what you have done, you have been a true patriot in fighting for the best of who we are as a country.
I believe you are doing that because you love this country and I believe history will show that you are a true profile in courage at this moment in time in the history of our country. And I thank you.
GRASSLEY: Senator Kennedy now, so we’ll proceed, Ms. Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford, we’re almost done. Just a couple clean up questions first of all. Which – which of your two lawyers did Senator Feinstein’s office recommend?
FORD: The Katz –
MITCHELL: I’m sorry?
FORD: The Katz firm.
MITCHELL: OK. And when you – when you did leave that night, did Leland Keyser – now Keyser ever follow up with you and say hey, what happened to you?
FORD: I have had communications with her recently.
MITCHELL: I’m talking about like the next day.
FORD: Oh no, she didn’t know about the event. She was downstairs during the event and I did not share it with her.
MITCHELL: OK. Have you been in – are you aware that the three people at the party besides yourself and — and Brett Kavanaugh have given statements under penalty of felony to the committee?
MITCHELL: And are you aware of what those statements say?
MITCHELL: Are you aware that they say that they have no memory or knowledge of such a party?
MITCHELL: OK. Do you have any particular motives to ascribe to Leland?
FORD: I guess we could take those one at a time. Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs, and she let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes, and et cetera, So I’m glad that she’s taking care of herself.
I don’t expect that P.J. and Leland would remember this evening. It was a very unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening. They were downstairs.
And Mr. Judge is a different story. I would expect that he would remember that this happened.
Senator Harris just questioned you from the Maricopa County Protocol on Sexual Assault. The — that’s the paper she was holding out. Are you aware that — and you know, I’ve — I’ve been really impressed today, because you’ve talked about norepinephrine and cortisol, and what we call in the profession, basically, the neurobiological effects of trauma. Have you also educated yourself on the best way to get to memory and truth, in terms of interviewing victims of trauma?
FORD: For me interviewing victims of trauma?
MITCHELL: No, to…
MITCHELL: The best way to do it, the — the best practices for interviewing victims of trauma.
MITCHELL: OK. Would you believe me if I told you that there’s no study that says that this setting in five minute increments is the best way to do that?
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
BROMWICH: We’ll stipulate to that.
(UNKNOWN): We could stipulate to that.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Counsel.
MITCHELL: Did you know that the best way to do it is to have a trained interviewer talk to you one-on-one in a private setting, and to let you do the talking, just let you do a narrative? Did you know that?
FORD: That makes a — a lot of sense.
MITCHELL: It does make a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
MITCHELL: And then to follow up, obviously, to fill in the details and — and ask for clarification. Does that make sense, as well?
MITCHELL: And — and the research is done by a lot of people in the child abuse field. Two of the more prominent ones in the sexual assault field are Geisel and Fisher, who’ve talked about it, and it’s called a cognitive interview. This is not a cognitive interview.
Did anybody ever advise you from Senator Feinstein’s office, or from Representative Eshoo’s office to go get a forensic interview?
MITCHELL: Instead, you were advised to get an attorney and take a polygraph. Is that right?
FORD: Many people advised me to get an attorney. Once I had an attorney, my attorney and I discussed a — using the polygraph.
MITCHELL: And instead of submitting to an interview in California, we’re having a hearing here today in five-minute increments. Is that right?
FORD: I — I agree that’s what was agreed upon by the collegial group here.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you. I have no further questions.
GRASSLEY: OK, I have something to submit for the record. We received three statements under penalty of felony from three witnesses identified by Dr. Ford: Mark Judge, Leland Keyser and Patrick Smyth. All three denied any knowledge of the incident, or a gathering described by Dr. Ford. Without objection, I’ll enter in the record.
BLUMENTHAL: Mr. Chairman, I have something for the record, as well…
BLUMENTHAL: … a number of letters from the witness’s family friends, including her husband.
GRASSLEY: OK. I’ll get you just as soon as the ranking member.
FEINSTEIN: Mr. Chairman, I have three letters addressed to both you and the ranking member, and I’d ask that they be entered into the record.
GRASSLEY: Without objection.
FEINSTEIN: And it’s also my understanding that Mr. Judge is not willing to come forward to answer our questions. As a result, we cannot test his memory, or make any assessment of his thoughtfulness or character. And I think that’s why the failure to call him to testify is so very critical, and I hope the majority would reconsider that.
BLUMENTHAL: Mr. Chairman, I ask if you have sworn statements that you’re submitting for the record, that we have those individuals come before us so that we can ask them questions about those statements. I think that the nature of this proceeding would be compromised if we lack an opportunity to ask them questions about sworn statements that will be part of the record. So frankly, Mr. Chairman, I would object to entering them in the record.
WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman?
GRASSLEY: OK, Senator Whitehouse?
WHITEHOUSE: I have a number of letters that I would like to ask submitted to the record that relate to the importance of proper investigation by trained professionals in pulling these kind of — of investigations together, from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Organization For Women, and so forth.
GRASSLEY: Without objection. Senator Kennedy?
KENNEDY: Mr. Chairman, I have a question for our chairman. The — the — the statements that Senator Blumenthal talked about, those were statements taken by our majority staff, is that…
GRASSLEY: They’re — they’re — they’re already in the record.
KENNEDY: Yes, sir, but those statements were taken by our majority staff?
KENNEDY: Did minority staff participate?
KENNEDY: Why not?
GRASSLEY: You’ll have to ask them.
KENNEDY: Well, were they instructed not to participate?
KENNEDY: They chose not to?
GRASSLEY: That’s right.
FEINSTEIN: If I may, Mr. Chairman, I was told the minority staff was not notified.
KENNEDY: If — if — if I could, I still think I have the forum, Senator.
GRASSLEY: Let’s listen to Senator Feinstein.
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
BROMWICH: Can — can we be excused?
FEINSTEIN: I am told by staff…
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
BROMWICH: The witness is quite tired. She’d like to be excused.
GRASSLEY: I’d would like — I’d like to — if you’d wait just a minute, I’d like to thank Dr. Ford.
(CORRECTED COPY – CORRECTS SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION)
BROMWICH: OK. All right.
GRASSLEY: In fact, we’re going to continue this meeting, and we can — so let’s just be nice to her.
Dr. Ford, Dr. Ford, I — I can only speak as one of 21 senators here, but I thank you very much for your testimony, more importantly, for your bravery coming out, and trying to answer our questions as best you could remember. Thank you very much. We’ll adjourn for 45 minutes — or, not adjourn. Recess for 45 minutes.
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE NOMINATION OF BRETT M.
KAVANAUGH TO BE AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, DAY 5,
FOCUSING ON ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, PART 2
SEPTEMBER 27, 2018
SEN. CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, R-IOWA, CHAIRMAN
SEN. ORRIN G. HATCH, R-UTAH
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS
SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.
SEN. THOM TILLIS, R-N.C.
SEN. BEN SASSE, R-NEB.
SEN. MICHAEL D. CRAPO, R-IDAHO
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF., RANKING MEMBER
SEN. PATRICK J. LEAHY, D-VT.
SEN. RICHARD J. DURBIN, D-ILL.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-R.I.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINN.
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.
SEN. MAZIE K. HIRONO, D-HAWAII
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF.
RACHEL MITCHELL, STAFF COUNSEL
JUDGE BRETT M. KAVANAUGH, NOMINATED TO BE AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF
THE SUPREME COURT
GRASSLEY: Judge Kavanaugh, we welcome you. Are you ready?
KAVANAUGH: I am.
GRASSLEY: I have a — I have a — something I want to clear up from the last meeting that doesn’t affect you. So before I swear you, I would like to explain my response to Senator Kennedy right after the break.
At that time, I entered into the record statements of three witnesses Dr. Ford said were also at the party. These statements were provided to us under penalty of felony by lying to — if you lie to Congress. As soon as my team learned the names of these three potential witnesses, we immediately reached out to them, requesting an interview. In response, all three submitted statements to us denying any knowledge of the gathering Dr. Ford described.
If we had calls with them, we would’ve invited the minority to join. Every time that we’ve received any information regarding Judge Kavanaugh, we’ve sought to immediately follow through and investigate. The minority staff sat on Dr. Ford’s letter for weeks, and staff told us that they believed it is, quote, “highly inappropriate to have these follow-up calls before the FBI finishes its investigation,” end of quote, even though the FBI had completed its background information.
When we followed up with Judge Kavanaugh after we received Dr. Ford’s allegations, the ranking member’s staff didn’t join us, even though these calls are usually done on a bipartisan basis. They joined other calls with the judge, but they didn’t participate or ask any questions.
Would you please rise, sir?
GRASSLEY: Do you affirm that the testimony you’re about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
KAVANAUGH: I do.
GRASSLEY: Yeah. And like we — like we offered to senator — or, to Dr. Ford, you can take whatever time you want now for your opening statement, and then we’ll go to questions. So proceed.
KAVANAUGH: Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Feinstein, members of the committee, thank you for allowing me to make my statement. I wrote it myself yesterday afternoon and evening. No one has seen a draft, or it, except for one of my former law clerks. This is my statement.
Less than two weeks ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing wrongdoing at an event more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, categorically and unequivocally. All four people allegedly at the event, including Dr. Ford’s longtime friend, Ms. Keyser, have said they recall no such event. Her longtime friend, Ms. Keyser, said under penalty of felony that she does not know me, and does not believe she ever saw me at a party, ever.
Here is the quote from Ms. Keyser’s attorney’s letter: quote, “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh, and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with or without Dr. Ford,” end quote. Think about that fact.
The day after the allegation appeared, I told this committee that I wanted a hearing as soon as possible to clear my name. I demanded a hearing for the very next day. Unfortunately, it took the committee 10 days to get to this hearing. In those 10 long days, as was predictable, and as I predicted, my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations. The 10-day delay has been harmful to me and my family, to the Supreme Court and to the country.
When this allegation first arose, I welcomed any kind of investigation, Senate, FBI or otherwise. The committee now has conducted a thorough investigation, and I’ve cooperated fully. I know that any kind of investigation — Senate, FBI, Montgomery County Police — whatever, will clear me. Listen to the people I know. Listen to the people who’ve known me my whole life. Listen to the people I’ve grown up with, and worked with, and played with, and coached with, and dated, and taught, and gone to games with, and had beers with. And listen to the witnesses who allegedly were at this event 36 years ago. Listen to Ms. Keyser. She does not know me. I was not at the party described by Dr. Ford.
This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.
Since my nomination in July, there’s been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation. Shortly after I was nominated, the Democratic Senate leader said he would, quote, “oppose me with everything he’s got.” A Democratic senator on this committee publicly — publicly referred to me as evil — evil. Think about that word. It’s said that those who supported me were, quote, “complicit in evil.” Another Democratic senator on this committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.” A former head of the Democratic National Committee said, quote, “Judge Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.”
I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators, your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listen carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent e-mail to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends. To blow me up and take me down.
You sowed the wind for decades to come. I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind.
The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment. But at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at Borking.
Those efforts didn’t work. When I did at least OK enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed, a new tactic was needed.
Some of you were lying in wait and had it ready. This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee, and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits.
When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes. And then — and then as no doubt was expected — if not planned — came a long series of false last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred.
Crazy stuff. Gangs, illegitimate children, fights on boats in Rhode Island. All nonsense, reported breathlessly and often uncritically by the media.
This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government.
This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election. Fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons. and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.
This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions, from serving our country.
And as we all know, in the United States political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around. I am an optimistic guy. I always try to be on the sunrise side of the mountain, to be optimistic about the day that is coming.
But today, I have to say that I fear for the future. Last time I was here, I told this committee that a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure.
I said I was such a judge, and I am. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You’ve tried hard. You’ve given it your all. No one can question your effort, but your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and to destroy my family will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out.
You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.
I’m here today to tell the truth. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not in college, not ever. Sexual assault is horrific. One of my closest friends to this day is a woman who was sexually abused and who, in the 1990s when we were in our 30s, confided in me about the abuse and sought my advice. I was one of the only people she consulted.
Allegations of sexual assault must always be taken seriously, always. Those who make allegations always deserve to be heard.
At the same time, the person who was the subject of the allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is a foundation of the American rule of law. Due process means listening to both sides.
As I told you at my hearing three weeks ago, I’m the only child of Martha and Ed Kavanaugh. They’re here today. When I was 10, my mom went to law school. And as a lawyer, she worked hard and overcame barriers, including the workplace sexual harassment that so many women faced (ph) at that time and still face today.
She became a trailblazer, one of Maryland’s earliest women prosecutors and trial judges. She and my dad taught me the importance of equality and respect for all people, and she inspired me to be a lawyer and a judge.
Last time I was here, I told you that when my mom was a prosecutor and I was in high school, she used to practice her closing arguments at the dining room table, on my dad and me.
As I told you, her trademark line was, “Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?” Her trademark line is a good reminder, as we sit here today, some 36 years after the alleged event occurred when there is no corroboration and indeed it is refuted by the people allegedly there.
After I’ve been in the public arena for 26 years without even a hint — a whiff — of an allegation like this. And when my nomination to the Supreme Court was just about to be voted on, at a time when I’m called “evil” by a Democratic member of this committee, while Democratic opponents of my nomination say people will die if I am confirmed.
This onslaught of last-minute allegations does not ring true. I’m not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time. But I have never done this. To her or to anyone. That’s not who I am. It is not who I was. I am innocent of this charge.
I intend no ill will to Dr. Ford and her family. The other night, Ashley and my daughter, Liza, said their prayers. And little Liza — all of 10 years old — said to Ashley, “We should pray for the woman.” It’s a lot of wisdom from a 10-year old. We mean — we mean no ill will.
First, let’s start with my career. For the last 26 years, since 1992, I have served in many high profile and sensitive government positions for which the FBI has investigated my background six separate times. Six separate FBI background investigations over 26 years. All of them after the elent (ph) — event alleged here. I have been in the public arena and under extreme public scrutiny for decades.
In 1992, I worked for the Office of Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. In 1993, I clerked on the Supreme Court for Justice Anthony Kennedy. I spent 4 years at the Independent Counsel’s office during the 1990s. That office was the subject of enormous scrutiny from the media and the public. During 1998, the year of the impeachment of President Clinton, our office generally and I personally were in the middle of an intense national media and political spotlight.
I and other leading members of Ken Starr’s office were opposition researched from head to toe, from birth through the present day. Recall the people who were exposed that year of 1998 as having in engaged in some sexual wrongdoing or indiscretions in their pasts. One person on the left even paid a million dollars for people to report evidence of sexual wrongdoing, and it worked. Exposed some prominent people. Nothing about me.
From 2001 to 2006, I worked for President George W. Bush in the White House. As Staff Secretary, I was by President Bush’s side for 3 years and was entrusted with the nation’s most sensitive secrets. I traveled on Air Force One all over the country and the world with President Bush. I went everywhere with him, from Texas to Pakistan, from Alaska to Australia, from Buckingham Palace to the Vatican. Three years in the West Wing, 5 1/2 years in the White House.
I was then nominated to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit. I was thoroughly vetted by the White House, the FBI, the American Bar Association, and this committee. I sat before this committee for two thorough confirmation hearings in 2004 and 2006.
For the past 12 years leading up to my nomination for this job, I’ve served in a very public arena as a federal judge on what is often referred to as the second-most important court in the country. I’ve handled some of the most significant sensitive cases affecting the lives and liberties of the American people.
I have been a good judge. And for this nomination, another FBI background investigation, another American Bar Association investigation, 31 hours of hearings, 65 senator meetings, 1,200 written questions, more than all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.
Throughout that entire time, throughout my 53 years and 7 months on this Earth, until last week, no one ever accused me of any kind of sexual misconduct. No one, ever. A lifetime. A lifetime of public service and a lifetime of high-profile public service at the highest levels of American government and never a hint of anything of this kind, and that’s because nothing of this kind ever happened.
Second, let’s turn to specifics. I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford. I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I never attended a gathering like the one Dr. Ford describes in her allegation. I’ve never sexually assaulted Dr. Ford or anyone.
Again, I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone.
Dr. Ford’s allegation stems from a party that she alleges occurred during the summer of 1982, 36 years ago. I was 17 years old, between my junior and senior years of high school at Georgetown Prep, a rigorous all-boys Catholic Jesuit High School in Rockville, Maryland. When my friends and I spent time together at parties on weekends, it was usually the — with friends from nearby Catholic all-girls high schools, Stone Ridge, Holy Child, Visitation, Immaculata, Holy Cross.
Dr. Ford did not attend one of those schools. She attended an independent private school named Holton-Arms and she was a year behind me. She and I did not travel in the same social circles. It is possible that we met at some point at some events, although I do not recall that. To repeat, all of the people identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party have said they do not remember any such party ever happening.
Importantly her friend, Ms. Keyser, has not only denied knowledge of the party, Ms. Keyser said under penalty of felony she does not know me, does not recall ever being at a party with me ever. And my two male friends who were allegedly there, who knew me well, have told this committee under penalty of felony that they do not recall any such party and that I never did or would do anything like this.
Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a long-time friend of hers. Refuted.
Third, Dr. Ford has said that this event occurred at a house near Columbia Country Club, which is at the corner of Connecticut Avenue in the East-West Highway in Chevy Chase, Maryland. In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she said that there were four other people at the house but none of those people, nor I, lived near Columbia Country Club.
As of the summer of 1982, Dr. Ford was 15 and could not drive yet and she did not live near Columbia Country Club. She says confidently that she had one beer at the party, but she does not say how she got to the house in question or how she got home or whose house it was.
Fourth, I have submitted to this committee detailed calendars recording my activities in the summer of 1982. Why did I keep calendars? My dad started keeping detailed calendars of his life in 1978. He did so as both a calendar and a diary. He was a very organized guy, to put it mildly. Christmas time, we’d sit around and he regales us with old stories, old milestones, old weddings, old events from his calendars.
In ninth grade — in ninth grade, in 1980, I started keeping calendars of my own. For me, also, it’s both a calendar and a diary. I’ve kept such calendar as diaries for the last 38 years; mine are not as good as my dad’s in some years. And when I was a kid, the calendars are about what you would expect from a kid; some goofy parts, some embarrassing parts.
But I did have the summer of 1982 documented pretty well. The event described by Dr. Ford, presumably happened on a weekend because I believed everyone worked and had jobs in the summers. And in any event, a drunken early evening event of the kind she describes, presumably happened on a weekend.
If it was a weekend, my calendars show that I was out of town almost every weekend night before football training camp started in late August. The only weekend nights that I was in D.C. were Friday, June 4, when I was with my dad at a pro golf tournament and had my high school achievement test at 8:30 the next morning.
I also was in D.C. on Saturday night, August 7th. But I was at a small gathering at Becky’s house in Rockville with Matt, Denise, Laurie and Jenny. Their names are all listed on my calendar. I won’t use their last names here.
And then on the weekend of August 20 to 22nd, I was staying at the Garrets’ (ph) with Pat (ph) and Chris (ph) as we did final preparations for football training camp that began on Sunday, the 22nd. As the calendars’ confirm, the — that weekend before a brutal training camp schedule was no time for parities.
So let me emphasize this point. If the party described by Dr. Ford happened in the summer of 1982 on a weekend night, my calendar shows all but definitively that I was not there.
During the weekdays in the summer of 1982, as you can see, I was out of town for two weeks of the summer for a trip to the beach with friends and at the legendary Five-Star Basketball Camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. When I was in town, I spent much of my time working, working out, lifting weights, playing basketball, or hanging out and having some beers with friends as we talked about life, and football, and school and girls.
Some have noticed that I didn’t have church on Sundays on my calendars. I also didn’t list brushing my teeth. And for me, going to church on Sundays was like brushing my teeth, automatic. It still is.
In the summer of 1981, I had worked construction. In the summer of 1982, my job was cutting lawns. I had my own business of sorts. You see some specifics about the lawn cutting listed on the August calendar page, when I had to time the last lawn cuttings of the summer of various lawns before football training camp.
I played in a lot of summer league basketball games for the Georgetown Prep team at night at Blair High School in Silver Spring. Many nights, I worked out with other guys at Tobin’s house. He was the great quarterback on our football team and his dad ran workouts — or lifted weights at Georgetown Prep in preparation for the football season. I attended and watched many sporting events, as is my habit to this day.
The calendars show a few weekday gatherings at friends’ houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers. But none of those gatherings included the group of people that Dr. Ford has identified. And as my calendars show, I was very precise about listing who was there; very precise.
And keeping — keep in mind, my calendars also were diaries of sorts, forward-looking and backward-looking, just like my dad’s. You can see, for example, that I crossed out missed workouts and the canceled doctor’s appointments, and that I listed the precise people who had shown up for certain events. The calendars are obviously not dispositive on their own, but they are another piece of evidence for you to consider.
Fifth, Dr. Ford’s allegation is radically inconsistent with my record and my character from my youth to the present day. As students at an all-boys catholic Jesuit school, many of us became friends and remain friends to this day with students at local catholic all-girls schools.
One feature of my life that has remained true to the present day is that I have always had a lot of close female friends. I’m not talking about girlfriends; I’m talking about friends who are women. That started in high school. Maybe it was because I’m an only child and had no sisters.
But anyway, we had no social media, or texts, or e-mail and we talked on the phone. I remember talking almost every night it seemed, to my friends Amy, or Julie, or Kristin, or Karen, or Suzanne, or Moira, or Megan, or Nikki (ph). The list goes on — friends for a lifetime, built on a foundation of talking through school and life, starting at age 14. Several of those great women are in the seats right behind me today.
My friends and I sometimes got together and had parties on weekends. The drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school, and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school. I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.
There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do, and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime. If every American who drinks beer or every American who drank beer in high school is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, will be an ugly, new place in this country. I never committed sexual assault.
As high school students, we sometimes did goofy or stupid things. I doubt we are alone in looking back in high school and cringing at some things.
For one thing, our yearbook was a disaster. I think some editors and students wanted the yearbook to be some combination of Animal House, Caddy Shack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which were all recent movies at that time. Many of us went along in the yearbook to the point of absurdity. This past week, my friends and I have cringed when we read about it and talked to each other.
One thing in particular we’re sad about: one of our good — one of our good female friends who we would admire and went to dances with had her names used on the yearbook page with the term “alumnus.” That yearbook reference was clumsily intended to show affection, and that she was one of us. But in this circus, the media’s interpreted the term is related to sex. It was not related to sex. As the woman herself noted to the media on the record, she and I never had any six — sexual interaction of — at all. I’m so sorry to her for that yearbook reference. This may sound a bit trivial, given all that we are here for, but one thing I want to try to make sure — sure of in the future is my friendship with her. She was and is a great person.
As to sex, this is not a topic I ever imagined would come up at a judicial confirmation hearing, but I want to give you a full picture of who I was. I never had sexual intercourse, or anything close to it, during high school, or for many years after that. In some crowds, I was probably a little outwardly shy about my inexperience; tried to hide that. At the same time, I was also inwardly proud of it. For me and the girls who I was friends with, that lack of major rampant sexual activity in high school was a matter of faith and respect and caution.
The committee has a letter from 65 women who knew me in high school. They said that I always treated them with dignity and respect. That letter came together in one night, 35 years after graduation, while a sexual assault allegation was pending against me in a very fraught (ph) and public situation where they knew — they knew they’d be vilified if they defended me. Think about that. They put theirselves (sic) on the line for me. Those are some awesome women, and I love all of them.
You also have a letter from women who knew me in college. Most were varsity athletes, and they described that I treated them as friends and equals, and supported them in their sports at a time when women’s sports was emerging in the wake of Title IX. I thank all of them for all of their texts, and their emails, and their support. One of those women friends from college, a self-described liberal and feminist, sent me a text last night that said, quote, “Deep breaths. You’re a good man, a good man, a good man.”
A text yesterday from another of those women friends from college said, quote, “Brett, be strong. Pulling for you to my core.” A third text yesterday from yet another of those women I’m friends with from college said, “I’m holding you in the light of God.”
As I said in my opening statement the last time I was with you, cherish your friends, look out for your friends, lift up your friends, love your friends. I’ve felt that love more over the last two weeks than I ever have in my life. I thank all my friends. I love all my friends.
Throughout my life, I’ve devoted huge efforts to encouraging and promoting the careers of women. I will put my record up against anyone’s, male or female. I am proud of the letter from 84 women — 84 women — who worked with me at the Bush White House from 2001 to 2006, and described me as, quote, “a man of the highest integrity.”
Read the op-ed from Sarah Day (ph) from Yarmouth, Maine. She worked in Oval Office operations, outside of President Bush’s office. Here’s what she recently wrote in centralmaine.com, and today she stands by her comments.
Quote, “Brett was an advocate for young women like me. He encouraged me to take on more responsibility and to feel confident in my role. In fact, during the 2004 Republican National Convention, Brett gave me the opportunity to help with the preparation and review of the president’s remarks, something I never (ph)…
… “something I never would have had the chance to do if he had not included me. And he didn’t just include me in the work. He made sure I was at Madison Square Garden to watch the president’s speech, instead of back at the hotel, watching it on TV.” End quote.
As a judge since 2006, I’ve had the privilege of hiring four recent law school graduates to serve as my law clerks each year. The law clerks for federal judges are the best and brightest graduates of American law schools. They work for one-year terms for judges after law school, and then they move on in their careers.
For judges, training these young lawyers is an important responsibility. The clerks will become the next generation of American lawyers and leaders, judges and senators.
Just after I took the bench in 2006, there was a major New York Times story about the low numbers of women law clerks at the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts.
I took notice, and I took action. A majority of my 48 law clerks over the last 12 years have been women.
In a letter to this committee, my women law clerks said I was one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers. And they wrote that the legal profession is fairer and more equal because of me.
In my time on the bench, no federal judge — not a single one in the country — has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.
Before this allegation arose two weeks ago, I was required to start making certain administrative preparations for my possible transfer to the Supreme Court, just in case I was confirmed.
As part of that, I had to, in essence, contingently hire a first group of four law clerks who could be available to clerk at the Supreme Court for me on a moment’s notice.
I did so, and contingently hired four law clerks. All four are women. If confirmed, I’ll be the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks.
That is who I am. That is who I was. Over the past 12 years, I’ve taught constitutional law to hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School, where (ph) I was hired by then-dean and now-Justice Elena Kagan.
One of my former women students, a Democrat, testified to this committee that I was an even-handed professor who treats people fairly and with respect.
In a letter to this committee, my former students — male and female alike — wrote that I displayed “a character that impressed us all.” I loved teaching law. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.
For the past seven years, I’ve coached my two daughters’ basketball teams. You saw many of those girls when they came to my hearing for a couple of hours. You have a letter from the parents of the girls I coach, that describe my dedication, commitment and character.
I coach because I know that a girl’s confidence on the basketball court translates into confidence in other aspects of life. I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life. But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.
I’ve been a judge for 12 years. I have a long record of service to America and to the Constitution. I revere the Constitution. I am deeply grateful to President Trump for nominating me. He was so gracious to my family and me on the July night he announced my nomination at the White House. I thank him for his steadfast support.
When I accepted the president’s nomination, Ashley and I knew this process would be challenging. We never expected that it would devolve into this. Explaining this to our daughters has been about the worst experience of our lives.
Ashley has been a rock. I thank God every day for Ashley and my family. We live in a country devoted to due process and the rule of law. That means taking allegations seriously.
But if the mere allegation — the mere assertion of an allegation — a refuted allegation from 36 years ago is enough to destroy a person’s life and career, we will have abandoned the basic principles of fairness and due process that define our legal system and our country.
I ask you to judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother or your son. My family and I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford or her family.
But I swear today — under oath, before the Senate and the nation; before my family and God — I am innocent of this charge.
GRASSLEY: Thank you, Judge Kavanaugh.
Before we start questions, I won’t repeat what I said this morning but we’ll do it the same way as we did for Dr. Ford. And five-minute rounds. And so we will start with Ms. Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Good afternoon, Judge Kavanaugh. We have not met. My name is Rachel Mitchell.
I’d like to go over a couple of guidelines for our question-and-answer session today. If I ask a question…
KAVANAUGH: Yes, I’m ready.
MITCHELL: OK. If I ask a question…
KAVANAUGH: Thank you.
MITCHELL: If I ask a question that you do not understand, please ask me to clarify it, or ask it in a different way. I may ask a question where I incorporate some information you’ve already provided. If I get it wrong, please correct me. I’m not going to ask you to guess. If you do estimate, please let me know you’re estimating.
Now, I want to make sure that all of the committee members have gotten a copy of the definition of sexual behavior.
GRASSLEY: Yes, at least I have one.
MITCHELL: And you have that, as well, Judge Kavanaugh?
MITCHELL: OK. First of all, have you been given or reviewed a copy of the questions that I will be asking you?
MITCHELL: Has anyone told you the questions that I will be asking you?
MITCHELL: I want you to take a moment to review the definition that’s before you of sexual behavior.
MITCHELL: Have you had a chance to review it?
KAVANAUGH: I have. I may refer back to it, if I can?
MITCHELL: Yes, please.
I’d like to point out two specific parts. Among the examples of sexual behavior, it includes rubbing or grinding your genitals against somebody, clothed or unclothed. And I would also point out that the definition applies whether or not the acts were sexually motivated or, for example, horseplay. Do you understand the definition I have given you?
KAVANAUGH: I do.
MITCHELL: And again, if at any time you need to review that, please — please let me know.
Dr. Ford has stated that somewhere between five or six people were present at the gathering on this date: you, Mark Judge, Leland Ingham — at the time, or Leland Keyser now, Patrick P.J. Smyth, Dr. Ford and — and an unnamed boy. Do you know Mark Judge?
KAVANAUGH: I do.
MITCHELL: How do you know him?
KAVANAUGH: He was a friend at Georgetown Prep, starting in ninth grade. He’s a — someone we would — in our, you know, group of friends. We’re a very friendly group in class. He saw the letter that’s been sent by my friends from Georgetown Prep. Funny guy, great writer, popular, developed a serious addiction problem that lasted decades. Near death a couple times from his addiction. Suffered tremendously from.
MITCHELL: What is your relationship with him like now?
KAVANAUGH: I haven’t talked to him in a couple years. We’ve probably been on, you know, mass e-mails that — or, group e-mails that go around among my high school friends.
MITCHELL: And how did you know Patrick Smyth?
KAVANAUGH: Also ninth grade, Georgetown Prep. Went by P.J. then. He and I lived close to one another. Played football together, he was defensive tackle, I was the quarterback and wide receiver. We carpooled to school along with De Davis (ph) every year, the three of us for two years. I didn’t have a car, so one of the two of them would drive every day. And I’d be in the (ph), you know, they’d pick me up.
MITCHELL: What’s your relationship like with him now?
KAVANAUGH: He lives in the area. I see him once in a while. I haven’t seen him since this — this thing.
MITCHELL: OK. Do you know Leland Ingham or Leland Keyser?
KAVANAUGH: I — I know of her. And it — it’s possible I, you know, saw — met her in high school at some point at some event. Yes, I know — I know of her and, again, I don’t want to rule out having crossed paths with her in high school.
MITCHELL: Similar to your statements about knowing Dr. Ford?
GRASSLEY: Senator Feinstein.
FEINSTEIN: Judge Kavanaugh, it’s my understanding that you have denied the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick. Is that correct?
FEINSTEIN: All three of these women have asked the FBI to investigate their claims. I listened carefully to what you said. Your concern is evident and clear. And if you’re very confident of your position, and you appear to be, why aren’t you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?
KAVANAUGH: Senator, I’ll do whatever the committee wants. I wanted a hearing the day after the allegation came up. I wanted to be here that day. Instead, 10 days passed where all this nonsense is coming out, you know, that I’m in gangs, I’m on boats in Rhode Island, I’m in Colorado, you know, I’m sighted (ph) all over the place. And these things are printed and run, breathlessly (ph) by cable news.
You know, I wanted a hearing the next day. I — my family’s been destroyed by this, senator, destroyed.
FEINSTEIN: And — and I’m — and I’m very (ph)…
KAVANAUGH: And — and whoever wants — you know whatever the committee decides, you know, I’m — I’m — I’m all in.
FEINSTEIN: … But the question is…
KAVANAUGH: Immediately. I’m all in immediately.
FEINSTEIN: … No (ph). And the terrible and hard part of this is when we get an allegation, we’re not in a position to prove it or disprove it; therefore, we have to depend on some outside authority for it. And it would just seem to me, then, when these allegations came forward, that you would want the FBI to investigate those claims and clear it up once and for all.
KAVANAUGH: Senator, the committee investigates. It’s not for me to — to say how to do it. But just so you know, the FBI doesn’t reach a conclusion. They would give you a couple 302s that just tell you what we said.
So I’m here. I wanted to be here — I wanted to be here the next day. It’s an — it’s an outrage that I was not allowed to come and immediately defend my name, and say I didn’t do this, and give you all this evidence. I’m not even — I’m not even in D.C. on the weekends in the summer of 1982.
This happened on a weekday? Well, is (ph) it — when — when I’m not at a Blair High School for a summer league game, I’m not at Tobin’s house working out, I’m not at a movie with Suzanne? You know, I wanted to be here right away.
FEINSTEIN: Well, the difficult thing is that it — the — these hearings are set and — set by the majority. But I’m talking about getting the evidence and having the evidence looked at. And I don’t understand — you know, we hear from the witnesses. But the FBI isn’t interviewing them and isn’t giving us any facts. So all we have…
KAVANAUGH: You’re interviewing me.
FEINSTEIN: … is what they say.
KAVANAUGH: You’re interviewing me. You’re — you’re doing it, senator. I’m sorry to interrupt…
KAVANAUGH: … but you’re doing it. That’s — the — the — there’s no conclusions reached.
FEINSTEIN: … And — and what you’re saying, if — if I understand it, is that the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick are — are wrong?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, that — that is emphatically what I’m saying; emphatically. The Swetnick thing is a joke. That is a farce.
FEINSTEIN: Would you like to say more about it?
FEINSTEIN: OK. That’s it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GRASSLEY: OK. Ms. Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford has described you as being intoxicated at a party. Did you consume alcohol during your high school years?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, the boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school, people were legal to drink, and we — yeah, we drank beer, and I said sometimes — sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers.
MITCHELL: What do you…
KAVANAUGH: We drank beer. We liked beer.
MITCHELL: What do you consider to be too many beers?
KAVANAUGH: I don’t know. You know, we — whatever the chart says, a blood-alcohol chart.
MITCHELL: When you talked to Fox News the other night, you said that there were times in high school when people might have had too many beers on occasion. Does that include you?
MITCHELL: OK. Have you ever passed out from drinking?
KAVANAUGH: I — passed out would be — no, but I’ve gone to sleep, but — but I’ve never blacked out. That’s the — that’s the — the allegation, and that — that — that’s wrong.
MITCHELL: So let’s talk about your time in high school. In high school, after drinking, did you ever wake up in a different location than you remembered passing out or going to sleep?
KAVANAUGH: No, no.
MITCHELL: Did you ever wake up with your clothes in a different condition, or fewer clothes on than you remembered when you went to sleep or passed out?
KAVANAUGH: No, no.
MITCHELL: Did you ever tell — did anyone ever tell you about something that happened in your presence that you didn’t remember during a time that you had been drinking?
KAVANAUGH: No, the — the — we drank beer, and you know, so — so did, I think, the vast majority of — of people our age at the time. But in any event, we drank beer, and — and still do. So whatever, you know.
MITCHELL: During the time in high school when you would be drinking, did anyone ever tell you about something that you did not remember?
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford described a small gathering of people at a suburban Maryland home in the summer of 1982. She said that Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham also were present, as well as an unknown male, and that the people were drinking to varying degrees. Were you ever at a gathering that fits that description?
KAVANAUGH: No, as I’ve said in my opening statements — opening statement.
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford described an incident where she was alone in a room with you and Mark Judge. Have you ever been alone in a room with Dr. Ford and Mark Judge?
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford described an incident where you were grinding your genitals on her. Have you ever ground or rubbed your genitals against Dr. Ford?
MITCHELL: Dr. Ford described an incident where you covered her mouth with your hand. Have you ever covered Dr. Ford’s mouth with your hand?