Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who accused him of sexual assault are set to face lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday.
The hearing comes after much back-and-forth between the Senate Judiciary Committee majority and attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, who made the allegation against Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has continued to deny he ever sexually assaulted anyone and has said he hopes to use the hearing to defend his reputation.
But if his initial confirmation hearing is any indicator, expect sparks to fly early and often Thursday. Read on for a look at who will play a prominent role in the proceedings.
Brett Kavanaugh – Supreme Court nominee
A federal judge, Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump. After his initial confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, multiple women have publicly accused him of sexual misconduct – stemming from alleged drunken parties in high school and college.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Kavanaugh said he hoped for a “fair process where I can defend my integrity.”
Christine Blasey Ford – Accuser
Christine Blasey Ford is a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California. First, in a letter to lawmakers – and then publicly – Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were at a party in the early 1980s.
Both Ford and Kavanaugh were teenagers when she claimed he pinned her to a bed, attempted to forcibly remove her clothes and held his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming.
Chuck Grassley – Judiciary Committee chairman
Heading up the Senate Judiciary Committee is Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican.
While Grassley has accommodated some of Ford’s requests pertaining to the hearing – such as allowing her to testify while Kavanaugh is not in the room – he has continued to press forward with the confirmation hearing despite objections from Democrats.
Dianne Feinstein – Judiciary Committee ranking member
A California Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein first received a letter detailing Ford’s accusations in July.
Feinstein, a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, has called for an “immediate postponement” of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings and asked that the FBI review the allegations of sexual misconduct.
Rachel Mitchell – Sex crimes prosecutor
Just days before the hearing, Rachel Mitchell was hired by the Judiciary Committee to assist Republican lawmakers in questioning the witnesses.
Mitchell has been a prosecutor, specializing in sex crimes, since 1993 and has been largely recognized for her work. She spent more than a decade supervising attorneys who handle sex-related crimes, including sexual assault, child molestation and prostitution and computer crimes against children. She was also in charge of a satellite bureau that prosecuted such crimes, as well as domestic violence and elder abuse.
Kamala Harris – Democratic senator
During Kavanaugh’s initial hearing before the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., emerged as a prolific lawmaker in opposition of the nominee.
In an especially combative exchange during that hearing, Harris pointedly asked Kavanaugh whether he had discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller or his Russia probe with anyone at the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, a former personal attorney to Trump.
Harris, seen as a potential 2020 presidential contender, was also criticized for taking his comments about a birth control case out of context.
Cory Booker – Democratic senator
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, too, is largely considered to be a potential 2020 presidential contender. And also, like Harris, Booker has vocally expressed his opposition to Kavanaugh.
He brought attention on himself during the initially hearing when he said he was having a “Spartacus” moment and vowed to release documents that had not yet been cleared for release by the Judiciary Committee – a move he said he made “knowingly” that it violated Senate rules. Many of the documents he released, however, had already been cleared.
Jeff Flake - Republican senator
A Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, has remained noncommittal about his decision on Kavanaugh. He isn’t running for re-election this year, and he’s often clashed with President Trump.
“However this vote goes, I’m confident in saying that it will forever be steeped in doubt,” Flake said from the Senate floor the day before the hearing.
Mark Judge – Kavanaugh’s friend
Ford pegged Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s, as a witness to the alleged assault. She said she managed to get away from Kavanaugh when Judge jumped on top of them, toppling them to the ground. Judge has said he has “no memory” of the alleged altercation.
Over much of his adult life, Judge has dived back repeatedly into his memories of Georgetown Preparatory School student life in the early 1980s, and his two memoirs and a cluster of internet essays provide cautionary takes on his prep school days and boozy weekend rounds as a teen.
In his book “Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk,” Judge described a drunken chat with several friends that mentioned what some classmates suggest is a very thinly-veiled reference to Kavanaugh. He wrote that a friend named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” threw up in someone’s car.
Deborah Ramirez – Accuser
Deborah Ramirez was the second woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. She told The New Yorker he exposed himself to her while at a Yale University party during the 1983-84 academic year. She said she was also made to inadvertently touch his penis during this alleged interaction, but she also admitted to having gaps in her memory about the party because she had been drinking that night.
Kavanaugh dismissed the accusation as a “smear, plain and simple” in a statement released by the White House and said unequivocally that it did not happen.
Julie Swetnick – Accuser
The day before the hearing, attorney Michael Avenatti released a sworn statement from his client, Julie Swetnick, who alleged Kavanaugh and Judge would spike drinks at parties and participate in “gang rapes” of inebriated women. She also alleged that Kavanaugh and Judge would “drink excessively” and would become “overly aggressive with girls … not taking ‘No’ for an answer.”
She said Kavanaugh would “engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls,” which included making “crude sexual comments” in order to “demean, humiliate and embarrass them.”
Kavanaugh said the accusation was “ridiculous,” and he does not know who Swetnick is.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Gregg Re, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.