Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
US Judge Brett Kavanaugh (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump after being nominated to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump expressed support for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, after a bruising day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” the president wrote in a post on Twitter almost immediately after Thursday’s hearing concluded. “His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”
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Kavanaugh and a woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, appeared separately before lawmakers on Thursday for nearly nine hours of testimony. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her to a bed and groping her over her clothing at a high school party in the early 1980s.
“I never attended a gathering like the one that Dr. Ford describes in her allegation,” Kavanaugh told senators Thursday in a an emotional opening statement. “I’ve never sexually assaulted Dr. Ford or anyone.”
Allegations of sexual assault have roiled the confirmation process for Trump’s second nominee to the high court. Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old conservative federal appeals court judge, was widely expected to be confirmed by the Senate until accusations surfaced earlier this month, thrusting his chances into uncertainty. Appointing young Republicans to the Supreme Court, as well as the nation’s lower courts, has been a key pillar of the president’s domestic policy.
Trump, who has said that the accusations against Kavanaugh are false, had nonetheless left open the possibility that he would withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination during a press conference Wednesday evening.
“I’m going to see what happens tomorrow,” Trump said, speaking to reporters in New York. “I’m going to be watching, you know, believe it or not, I’m going to see what’s said. It’s possible that [Ford] will be convincing.”