Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gave an intense and tearful testimony Thursday, shooting down multiple allegations of sexual abuse during a historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Kavanaugh called the allegations against him a "grotesque and coordinated character assassination" adding that his family and name "have been totally and permanently destroyed."
He says part of the reason for the allegations is anger by some about President Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 election.
"This confirmation process has become a national disgrace," he said. "You've replaced advice and consent with search and destroy."
He said Senate Democrats' attempts to smear him and destroy his name have changed America in a dangerous way. “You sowed the wind,” he said. “For decades to come, I fear the whole country will reap the whirlwind.”
Kavanaugh was speaking following testimony by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford. She accuses him of drunkenly assaulting her more than 36 years ago when they were teens.
The nominee unequivocally denied her allegations saying, "I never had a sexual or physical encounter with Dr. Ford."
"I have never done this to her or anyone. It's not who I am. It's not who I was," he said.
Kavanaugh also said he kept meticulous calendars describing his activities growing up. He still has the one from 1982, the year Ford accused him of sexual assault.
He said according to his calendar, he was nowhere near the party Dr. Ford described in the summer of 1982.
"My calendar shows definitively that I was not there," he said.
Kavanaugh admitted he drank beers in high school, but not enough to make him pass out or not remember events he took part in.
"My friends and I sometimes got together and had parties on the weekends, the drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my times in high school and was 18 in D.C. for all of my time in high school," he said. "I drank beer with my friends, almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers, sometimes others did."
He added: "I liked beer, I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone."
Kavanaugh did not question whether Ford was assaulted but said it was not by him.
"I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by someone, at some place, at some time," he said. "I never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not in college. Not ever."
Kavanaugh maintained his good will towards Christine Blasey Ford, telling the Senate that his 10-year-old daughter urged their family to pray for his accusers.
"That's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old," Kavanaugh said while fighting back tears. "We mean no ill will."
During questioning, Kavanaugh shot down several other allegations of sexual misconduct that have come out against him in recent days. One of those is by Julie Swetnick, who claimed that she witnessed Kavanaugh engage in drinking and sexual misconduct against women in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh called her allegations a "joke" and a "farce."
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats questioned why the nominee has yet to call for an FBI investigation into the claims against him.
"I'm innocent," Kavanaugh said when asked by Senator Durbin about a possible FBI investigation. He added that the FBI doesn't reach conclusions and the hearing was the time to scrutinize the accusations against him.
Later, Senator Lindsey Graham chastised his Democratic colleagues for what he sees as an illegitimate process.
"I would never do to them what you've done to this guy," Graham said. "If you really wanted the truth, you sure has as well wouldn't have done what you did to this man."
Although Kavanaugh fought back tears and appeared frustrated throughout the hearing, he told lawmakers the allegations will not destroy him.
"Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out," he said. "The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit. Never."
"Before my family and God I am innocent of this charge," he concluded.
Prepared Written Testimony of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh
Nomination Hearing to Serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
September 27, 2018 (submitted September 26, 2018)
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee:
Eleven days ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing a serious wrong more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically. The next day, I told this Committee that I wanted to testify as soon as possible, under oath, to clear my name.
Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired. There has been a frenzy to come up with something—anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious—that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minute smears, pure and simple. They debase our public discourse. And the consequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.
As I told this Committee the last time I appeared before you, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I am and will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone—not in high school, not in college, not ever.
Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all people are created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Allegations of sexual assault must be taken seriously. Those who make allegations deserve to be heard. The subject of allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is a foundation of the American rule of law.
Dr. Ford's allegation dates back more than 36 years, to a party that she says occurred during our time in high school. I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that's not why we are here today. What I've been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.
The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women.
I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford. I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge.
[Notes:Additional Testimony To Follow]