Feinstein On Grassley Interruptions: 'You Get To Expect Those Things Here'

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Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat, in the midst of her opening statement at Thursday's hearing on Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a sign of the partisan tension that has surrounded the hearing.

Ford and Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge picked by Trump in July for a lifetime job on the high court, were the only two witnesses scheduled.

At that point, Grassley interjected to say, "I was going to introduce her".

Ford, a Palo Alto psychology professor, has alleged that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, in an interview first reported by the Washington Post.

Ford began her testimony by describing the anxiety accompanying her appearance before the committee.

Ford said her motivation to come forward with her story was entirely unrelated to politics.

She claimed: "When they left the bar (under the influence of alcohol) they were all very shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually".

"A confirmation hearing about the character and fitness of an individual who's is going to sit on the country's highest court, presumably for the rest of his life, the confirmation process involves going back and looking at the entirety of the nominee's life", Hill said.

Asked by reporters what he was hoping for from the closely watched proceedings, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley responded, "A fair hearing for everybody".

She said in a sworn statement released Wednesday that she holds "active clearances" -which require background investigations - for her work at the Treasury Department, the U.S. Mint and the Internal Revenue Service.

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"When I see it, I view it differently than somebody sitting home watching television, where they say 'Oh, Judge Kavanaugh, this or that, ' " he told a United Nations press conference. Both Kavanaugh and Ford attended high school in Montgomery County, although they attended private schools. "You can't lie your way onto the Supreme Court".

Both women's accusations have faced resistance from Senate Republicans.

What followed was an emotional description of Kavanaugh's alleged groping and attempts to remove her one-piece bathing suit. His reaction to Thursday's testimony could be the clearest immediate indicator of Kavanaugh's fate.

Kavanaugh then was asked about, and categorically denied, an allegation made by a Rhode Island man - whose name was redacted from the transcript - raised in a call to Rhode Island Democratic Sen. "I don't know who this is and this never happened".

Republicans have hired an outside attorney, Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, to handle much of their questioning.

"When somebody makes a serious allegation", Cornyn said Tuesday, "do they have a responsibility to bring forward evidence, corroborating witnesses, other evidence in so reasonable minds could satisfy themselves that what they're saying is true?"

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation.

The committee could vote on Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation tomorrow, with a final Senate vote early next week.

He denies having a "sexual or physical encounter of any kind" with Ford.