Kavanaugh, in op-ed, decries 'vicious' attacks while saying he 'might have been too emotional' at hearing

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, decrying what he described as "vicious" attacks against him while admitting he "might have been too emotional" during his hearing on Capitol Hill last week.

"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times," Kavanaugh wrote. "I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters."

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The embattled nominee was criticized after his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the visible emotion he displayed as he testified under oath. In his opening remarks, he appeared angry and sometimes tearful as he adamantly denied he'd ever sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, or anyone.

Kavanaugh described his testimony as "forceful and passionate" — "because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me."

I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.

— Brett Kavanaugh, on his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

"At times, my testimony — both in my opening statement and in response to questions — reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character," the judge wrote. "My statement and answers also reflected my deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled."

In the op-ed, Kavanaugh stood firm in his assertion that, if confirmed, he'd be a trusted associate justice, writing that the U.S. could count on him "to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good."

"As a judge, I have always treated colleagues and litigants with the utmost respect. I have been known for my courtesy on and off the bench. I have not changed. I will continue to be the same kind of judge I have been for the last 12 years," the judge wrote.

Kavanaugh concluded that if he's confirmed by the Senate to the vacant seat on the bench, he "will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law."

Kavanaugh's op-ed follows recent comments from retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens on the confirmation process. Stevens said that while he previously supported Kavanaugh's nomination, he sees the judge differently now "for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability."

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"I feel his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind," Stevens said, noting that he believes "there's merit to that criticism" about Kavanaugh's temperament disqualifying him from the court, and that "senators should really pay attention to that."

The Senate is expected to take a key procedural vote at 10:30 a.m. on Friday to end the debate on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Kavanaugh has not yet locked up the votes needed. While most Republicans say the findings of the FBI affirmed their support for Kavanaugh, three senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — have yet to announce how they will vote. Two Republican "no" votes could sink the nomination.

Fox News' Alex Pappas, Andrew O'Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.