Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's friend, responds to Ford's testimony prior to key vote

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Jon Tester - have both announced they would oppose Kavanaugh. Asked about an allegation by another accuser, Julie Swetnick, who said Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct at parties, Kavanaugh said her allegation was a "a joke". Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. It also means that any cases the Supreme Court hears before a ninth justice is in place will be decided by just eight, raising the possibility of tie votes.

The full Senate is expected to start the debate on the nomination on Saturday and a final vote on his confirmation is expected next week. Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both supporters of abortion rights, have remained noncommittal.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election", he said. But there was no specific direction as to what that might include. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, after Ford testified about her allegation over the course of four hours.

More than a 1,000 fellow Holton-Arms high school graduates have also lent their support for fellow graduate Dr Ford and their belief in her accusations through a letter presented to Senator Shelley Moore Capito.

"I think that we ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important", Flake said. The Democrats have chosen to question Kavanaugh and Ford directly.

Ms Gillibrand, a long-time advocate for survivors of sexual violence, said the message Republicans were sending to sexual assault survivors - through the hearing and their support for Mr Kavanaugh - was, "We don't believe you, your voice doesn't matter and we don't value you".

In a statement released by the White House Friday, Kavanaugh said he will continue to cooperate in the confirmation process.

The confrontation was captured by television cameras. Rachel Mitchell, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona who asked all questions of Ford for the committee's all-male GOP senators, seemed to elicit no significant inconsistencies.

"Late Thursday, the magazine of the Jesuit religious order in the United States withdrew its endorsement of Kavanaugh, saying the nomination was no longer in the interests of the country and "should be withdrawn". Democrats have been calling for such a probe, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it was unnecessary.

Attention quickly turned to a handful of undeclared senators.

The Judiciary Committee vote was initially scheduled for earlier Friday morning, and after Democrats failed to force Grassley to call additional witnesses to testify, some Democratic members on the committee walked out of the hearing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Justice Committee hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ of Texas: "All three of those fact witnesses have stated on the record under penalty of perjury that they do not recall what she is alleging happening".

The allegations against the 53-year-old conservative judge have thrust the Trump administration into the #MeToo movement's harsh glare, and threaten to derail its bid to tilt the nation's highest court to the right for years to come. "I have never done this to her or to anyone", he said. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "But they have a right to request it". Trump would have to order the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do the reopened background check. They don't give rulings on the outcome of their findings.

Asserting that she felt it was her "civic duty" to share her story, Ford said at the age of 15 she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1982 at a party. "Just basic memory functions, also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that sort of, as you know, encodes that neurotransmitter, encodes memories into the hippocampus so the trauma-related experience then is kind of locked there, whereas other details kind of drift".