Christine Blasey Ford gave emotionally wrenching testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, describing in detail how an inebriated Brett Kavanaugh and another teen, Mark Judge, locked her in a room at a house party in high school.
Bush has spoken to Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME as well as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia over the past several days - in an effort that the person familiar with the outreach says Bush initiated.
Graham had a message for Republicans on the panel as well, saying, "To my Republican colleagues, if you vote "no", you're legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics". And little Liza - all of 10 years old - said to Ashley, 'We should pray for the woman.' It's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year old.
Kavanaugh himself has explicitly said he is not questioning whether Ford had been attacked "by someone, at some point".
If an unproven allegation "is enough to destroy a person's life and career we will have abandoned the basic principles of fairness and due process that define our legal system and our country", Kavanaugh said.
The mood was intense as Kavanaugh's voice filled the room for the extraordinary session, unlike Ford's quiet testimony. In a letter addressed to Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Sen. "I don't know who this is and this never happened", Kavanaugh said in a statement issued through the White House.
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told CNN, "Somebody's mixed up".
During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Kavanaugh touted his "unanimous, well-qualified rating" from the ABA. Republican senators are aware of the risks of alienating women during this hearing: the all-male Republican side of the Judiciary Committee had a woman prosecutor come to the hearing to question Ford instead of them, in part to avoid the optics of a group of men challenging a woman on a past sexual assault.
Asked whether Trump has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh, Sanders said: "I certainly hope so, and I certainly think so". Central to the proceedings was the quality of Ford's memory and whether her account was believable, an unknown when she took her seat at the cramped witness table before the 21-member Senate Judiciary Committee.
Trump had canceled today's planned meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein so as to free up his time to watch the hearing at which one of Kavanaugh's accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, testified.
They predicted that if the three back Kavanaugh, he will be confirmed.
Graham expressed deep seated anger with his Democratic counterparts for their handling of the accusations from Ford and for California Democratic Sen.
"I believed he was going to rape me", Ford said. "I would expect that he would remember that this happened".
In evidence for the hearing, Kavanaugh acknowledges drinking in high school with his friends, but says he has never done anything "remotely resembling" the sexual misconduct alleged by his chief accuser.
USA president Donald Trump has acknowledged that past accusations of sexual misconduct against him have influenced the way he views similar allegations against other men, including his Supreme Court nominee.
"They were laughing with each other", Ford said.
Rachel Mitchell said she also wouldn't have been able to obtain a search warrant, the aide said.
Many others were deeply moved by Ford's testimony.