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Kavanaugh accuser gives gripping testimony before Senate committee

Christine Blasey Ford struggled to retain her composure on Thursday as she described in gripping detail before a rapt Senate panel how she was sexually assaulted at a party as a high school student — she says by Brett Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

In a breathless voice, Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee how she thought Kavanaugh might accidentally kill her when he put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming after pinning her down to a bed and groping her.

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Ford at times appeared to be fighting back tears as she told the committee about how she discussed the assault in a 2012 therapy session, but tried not to think about it or discuss it much after.

“After that May 2012 therapy session, I did my best to suppress memories of the assault because recounting the details caused me to relive the experience, and caused panic attacks and anxiety,” she said.

The hearing room was dead silent as Ford delivered her testimony, her voice trembling.
 
Every senator on the committee was present and many of them sat forward in their seats, either looking intently at the witness or with their eyes cast down.

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHuffPost reporter: DCCC will help Dems fend off progressive challengers to 'keep them happy' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Chauvin conviction puts renewed focus on police reform Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE (D-N.Y.), an outspoken supporter of the "Me Too" movement who was seated in the audience, was seen wiping tears from her face.

There were no whispered side conversations and the only sounds that could be heard aside from Ford’s testimony were the feverish typing sounds coming from the keypads of reporters packed in the back of the room. 
Ford told the committee that her greatest fears of coming forward have been realized and that the reality has been far worse that what she expected.  

“My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats,” she said. “I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core.”

No protesters were in the room during Ford’s opening statements. Those in the 20 seats reserved for the public were all dressed in dark business attire.