Kavanaugh calls certain allegations against him a ‘joke’ and a ‘farce’

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Kavanaugh calls certain allegations against him a ‘joke’ and a ‘farce’

A woman who has accused Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault has told an historic committee hearing in Washington DC that she believed he would rape her.

She gave details of how information surrounding the incident, including her name and that of Kavanaugh, became public, saying that she "struggled with a awful choice" when trying to decide whether to release her account of events when the press reported Kavanaugh's confirmation was virtually certain.

Earlier, Ford's account, delivered in a soft and sometimes-halting voice, came as the Senate Judiciary Committee held an extraordinary session that Republicans hope will salvage Kavanaugh's chances of joining the high court.

He has denied the allegations by Ford and two other women who have also made accusations against him since the nomination was announced.

Dr Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, is due to testify before the committee.

Ford's comments about her knowledge of the GoFundMe pages came amid a line of questioning from Mitchell about who paid for her polygraph test. Ford's lawyers told Mitchell they paid for the polygraph test - "as is routine" - and clarified they were representing her pro bono.

Shortly before, Ford had told the same senators that she was "100 percent" certain a drunken young Kavanaugh was the one who had pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothes and clapped a hand over her mouth as she tried to yell for help. Committee investigators specifically asked Judge Kavanaugh about all pending accusations, in specificity. Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was detained by Republicans on the committee to question Ford, would later tell Ford that she was "struck" by the fact that Ford appeared "terrified". The incident allegedly took place on a boat in the Newport harbor. She was raised in CT as a self-described "devout Catholic" and lives in Boulder, Colorado.

She alleged in an interview with The New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dorm party when they were both freshmen.

The "trauma-related experience" was seared into her brain, she said. That means that a handful of moderate Republican senators who have not announced whether or not they support Kavanaugh could determine his fate. Kavanaugh has denied any involvement.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, said in her opening statement that sexual violence was a serious problem in the United States "and one that goes largely unseen".

Two affidavits, from Ford's husband Russell Ford and from the coach of their son's baseball team, say Ford named Kavanaugh as the alleged assailant.

A third woman, Julie Swetnick, says Kavanaugh engaged in "abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls" at parties, and that he was "present" when she was raped by multiple boys. She worked in systems engineering and as a Web master.

In his opening statement, Grassley said that both Ford and Kavanaugh have "been through a bad couple of weeks" as "they and their families have received vile threats".

Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, both "visibly drunk", pushed her into an upstairs room at the party and locked the door.

Though Ford is the only accuser testifying, three women have made allegations against Kavanaugh.

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