Voices From Thursday And Friday's Events We hear audio from the tense hearings, protests and statements on Thursday and Friday on Capitol Hill.
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Voices From Thursday And Friday's Events

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Voices From Thursday And Friday's Events


A week of conflicting stories, searing emotions and almost amazingly political compromise. Thursday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee - and the world - her story of being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh in the summer of 1982, when she was 15.


CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me. Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They seemed to be having a very good time.

SIMON: The Republican majority - all white males - brought in Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, to ask questions. And she probed for inconsistencies in Dr. Ford's recollections...


RACHEL MITCHELL: You said that you do not remember how you got home. Is that correct?

SIMON: ...But could only interrogate in five-minute increments before trading off with Democratic senators. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island told Dr. Ford...


SHELDON WHITEHOUSE: I will do whatever is in my power to make sure that your claims get a full and proper investigation and not just this. Thank you for being here.

BLASEY FORD: Thank you.

SIMON: Then that afternoon, Brett Kavanaugh came before the committee defiant and incensed.


BRETT KAVANAUGH: I swear today under oath before the Senate and the nation, before my family and God, I am innocent of this charge.

SIMON: Republican senators amplified his rage and retired their special counsel. South Carolina's Lindsey Graham told the nominee...


LINDSEY GRAHAM: I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through.

SIMON: And then the senator, known for his bipartisan collegiality, took a poke at committee Democrats.


GRAHAM: Boy, y'all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham.

SIMON: In the evening dusk, partisans took to cable news to each declare a victory while other victims of sexual assault said the proceedings had reminded them of the fear many women have of being believed. The committee reconvened Friday, expected to send Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate. Then Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who'd said he would vote for Brett Kavanaugh, was confronted in an elevator by two women.


MARIA GALLAGHER: Don't look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me, that you'll let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.

SIMON: He came into the hearing room looking, well, like a man who'd just had a shattering encounter. He went into a side room to counsel with several Democrats then re-emerged.


JEFF FLAKE: I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI do an investigation limited in time and scope.

SIMON: And within a couple of hours, that was the deal struck. And at the White House, President Trump sounded conciliatory - truly a week of surprises - when he talked about Dr. Ford.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I thought her testimony was very compelling. And she looks like a very fine woman to me - very fine woman.

SIMON: And he was equally impressed by Judge Kavanaugh.


TRUMP: Really something that I haven't seen before - it was incredible.

SIMON: Which technically means impossible to believe.

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