Here's What You Missed From Friday's Hearing, In Bulletpoints
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been nothing short of historic and polarizing. After being accused of sexual assault by three different women, the first accuser, Christine Blasley Ford, went on the Senate floor to recall her encounter with Kavanaugh when the two were high-schoolers at Maryland private school Holton Arms. Here's what you missed from Friday’s spectacle:
1. A drinking problem?
Senators asked Kavanaugh if he's ever had a drinking problem. His high school yearbook include a note with the phrase "Devil's Triangle", which he said was a type of drinking game. Senator Amy Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh if he ever got so drunk he couldn't remember what happened the night before. Kavanaugh, visibly annoyed, responded, "You're asking about a blackout," he continued, "I don't know, have you?" The Senator said she was 'stunned' by his behavior. Kavanugh later apologized to Klobuchar for his remarks during the exchange. Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters also took to Twitter to question Kavanaugh's history with alcohol.
2. Ford's testimony
Ford emotionally recalled the night that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge pushed her into a room away from the party they were attending. Ford testified that Kavanaugh blasted the music and forcefully attempted to remove her clothes, shoved his fist in her mouth to keep her quiet, and tried to force himself on her. Ford said she is "100%" certain that Kavanaugh was he assailant. She also painfully recalled the laughter of Kavanagugh and Judge, "having fun at my expense," - Ford said their collective laughter is something she'll never forget. She also explained how the traumatic event has stayed with her, "The details about that night that bring me here today are ones I'll never forget. They have been seared into my memory and haunted me especially as an adult."
3. The fury of Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raised questions of how Ford's confidential letter to Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) was leaked to the media. Graham even called for a probe into who was responsible for leaking the letter. Graham called the hearing "the most unethical sham since I've been in politics," He also added a warning to his Republican colleagues, "If you vote 'no’, you are legitimatizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics."
4. Kavanaugh's rage (he even found a way to blame it all on Hillary Clinton)
Far from the calm, mild-tempered judge that we were first introduced to, Kavanaugh seethed with anger and political attack of his own. He called the hearing a "calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 201 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. He continued to lament, "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations." In light of it all, Trump continued to support his pick, tweeting that Kavanaugh "showed America exactly why I nominated him."
5. Jeff Flake
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has notably made blistering attacks on the Trump Administration and questioned Trump's ethics, shocked many when he announced he was a 'yes' vote on Kavanaugh. Moments later, the Senator was confronted by impassioned sexual assault survivors in a video that quickly went viral. Just a couple hours later, Flake changed his position and called on an FBI investigation and a week delay on the confirmation vote. Flake's last-minute decision actually ended up giving Republican senators no choice but to delay the vote, and may have paved the way for a successful confirmation vote for Kavanaugh next week.