A visibly emotional Judge Brett Kavanaugh abandoned his prepared script and delivered a blistering opening statement denying the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, calling it a “calculated and orchestrated political hit.”
In his sometimes tearful delivery, Kavanaugh, with his wife, Ashley, family and friends behind him, immediately denied Ford’s allegation that 36-years ago he pinned her down and attempted to remove her clothing.
“I will not be intimidated by withdrawing from this process. Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out,” Kavanaugh said. “You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Ever.”
He also detailed the “10 long days” between when Ford first publicly made the accusation and Thursday’s hearing.
“In those 10 long days, as was predictable and I predicted, my family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed,” Kavanaugh said. “The 10-day delay has been harmful to me and my family, to the Supreme Court, and to the country.”
Kavanaugh said he welcomed “any kind of investigation.”
“Senate, FBI, or otherwise. The committee has now conducted a thorough investigation,” Kavanaugh said. “I know any kind of investigation—Senate, FBI, Montgomery County Police—will clear me.”
He added: “Listen to the people I’ve grown up with and played with and coached with and dated and had beers with and listen to the witnesses who allegedly were at this event.”
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” Kavanaugh said, detailing the derogatory words used to describe him in recent days, such as “evil” and someone who would “threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.”
“I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to senators, your words have meaning. Millions of Americans listened carefully to you. Given comments like those, it isn’t any surprise that people are willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family, or send any violent email to my wife.”
In a passionate and tearful delivery, Kavanaugh said: “This has destroyed my family and my good name. A good name built up through decades of very hard work.”
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” Kavanaugh said. “This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade good people from serving our country.”
Kavanaugh denied Ford’s allegations, repeatedly, throughout his statement.
“I’m here to tell the truth. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school. Not in college. Not ever. Sexual assault is horrific,” Kavanaugh said. “Allegations of sexual assault must always be taken seriously, those who make allegations must always be heard. At the same time, the person who is the subject of those allegations must also be heard. Due process means listening to both sides.”
Kavanaugh also defended his record, as being in “high-profile” public service roles for more than 20 years.
“No one ever accused me of any kind of sexual misconduct. No one. Ever. A lifetime of high profile of public service at the highest levels of American government,” Kavanaugh said. “Never a hint of anything of this kind and that’s because nothing of this kind ever happened.”
Kavanaugh detailed his, and his father’s, practice of keeping detailed calendars that serve as both calendars and “diaries.”
Kavanaugh also said he did not doubt that Ford experienced some sort of sexual assault, but maintained that it was not him.
“I am not questioning that Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted. But I have never done this to her or to anyone. It’s not who I am. It is not who I was,” Kavanaugh said. “I am innocent of this charge. I intend no ill will to Dr. Ford or her family.”
Kavanaugh, in tears, said that his daughters even were praying “for the woman.” Kavanaugh praised his wife, Ashley, whom he said “has been a rock.”
“I thank God every day for Ashley and my family. We live in a country devoted to due process and the rule of law. That means taking allegations seriously. But if the mere allegation, mere assertion of an allegation, a refuted allegation from 36 years ago is enough to destroy a person’s life and career, we have abandoned the due process that defines our legal system in our country,” Kavanaugh said.
“I ask you to judge me by the standard you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother or your son,” Kavanaugh said. “My family and I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford or her family, but I swear today, under oath, before the Senate and the nation, before my family, and God, I am innocent of this charge.”