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WATCH LIVE: Ford tells her Kavanaugh sexual assault story to the committee

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Posted at 11:13 AM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 12:17:01-04

(KXXV/AP) - Christine Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s at a high school party on Thursday.

Kavanaugh denied Ford’s and other women’s allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified,” Ford said as she described the alleged assault. “I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened.”

Kavanaugh and Ford were the only witnesses invited to testify before the panel of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. However, it is forcing Republican leaders to struggle to keep support for him.

Republicans have derided Ford’s allegation as part of a smear campaign and a Democratic plot to sink Kavanaugh’s nomination. But after more allegations have emerged, some GOP senators have allowed that much is riding on his performance.

There have been new accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, one from Julie Swetnick. Sen. Susan Collins expressed her concerns to other senators in a meeting, and said her responsibility is to tell the truth.

“It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court,” she was to tell the senators.

Republicans are pushing to seat Kavanaugh before the November midterms. If he does not get the seat before then, Senate control could fall to the Democrats.

Kavanaugh’s ascendance to the high court could help lock in a conservative majority for a generation, shaping dozens of rulings on abortion, regulation, the environment and more.

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