In his fiery testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh broke down in tears as he explained how his daughter prayed for Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault.
Kavanaugh, 53, said in his opening testimony at the public hearing, “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 —”
Kavanaugh paused as his voice broke and he visibly choked up. Then he continued, “— said to Ashley, ‘We should pray for the woman.’ That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10 year old. We mean no ill will.”
He wiped his nose, shook his head and took a deep breath to regain composure.
Kavanaugh’s wife Ashley sat behind him during his testimony. “When I accepted the president’s nomination, Ashley and I knew this process would be challenging,” he said. “We never expected it would devolve into this. Explaining this to our daughters has been about the worst experience of our lives.”
Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, where he allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
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In her testimony on Thursday, Ford said, “Those who say that do not know me, I am an independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to be helpful and to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into a serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed.”
She added, “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.”
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual misconduct when they were freshmen at Yale. Ramirez, 53, said that Kavanaugh “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” The New Yorker reported on Sunday.
A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct on Wednesday.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).