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Friday, April 23, 2021

Live updates from the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearing

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh takes his oath at his first round of Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26, 2018.

A slew of wrenching testimony has poured out the following week for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. His nomination to the Supreme Court has been on the chopping block and the outcome of the hearing will be critical to upholding the courts for many decades to come.

The hearing, with several pivotal witnesses expected to testify and to play powerful roles in determining his fate, begins again Friday morning. Over the past few days, senators have teed up potential questions and motives for the past victims of sexual assault, Republican allies like Vice President Mike Pence, and women who are hoping to get their husbands’ votes on a potential Republican Supreme Court appointee.

Amid such fireworks, there’s also the assumption of impeachment proceedings by the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Donald Trump has “no intention” of backing down, despite what happens with Judge Kavanaugh. On the other hand, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has made it clear to the White House that they want their questions about White House role on the investigation answered — immediately.

The timeline for when the remaining hearing will start is being carefully settled out, but here’s what to expect Friday:

10 a.m. ET

Time to begin the proceedings.

The proceedings will likely include the anticipated testimony from senators Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, who will argue that Judge Kavanaugh lied under oath to the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing. The two reporters asked Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to drop their inquiry — which was resolved in September — to focus on how Kavanaugh might rule on President Trump’s personal businesses, and whether he will recuse himself from issues involving his wife and whether to launch an impeachment investigation. If the committee rejects their request, the reporters could still investigate a different avenue of news.

12:30 p.m. ET

Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, will be the last two witnesses to testify. This is the hearing the American public has been waiting for all year, as the judges and lawyers attempt to dissect the details of her allegations, and what Judge Kavanaugh’s defense was based on. The panel will also have to determine whether or not the alleged sexual assault is enough to cause the Senators to vote down his nomination.

Attorneys for Dr. Ford began their side of the story by requesting permission for Ford to wear a coat and that she be able to sit and hear the committee members. The clerk of the committee, to the heated disapproval of Democrats, denied these requests. Reporters are now gathered at the committee’s meeting room, ready to eavesdrop for the audio and seeing what is going on during this hearing.

4 p.m. ET

Following Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh’s testimonies, the Senate will discuss a motion for adjournment in order to prepare for a vote on their nomination. Again, this motion could change. To advance the legislation to the floor of the Senate, it’s likely that the Senate’s majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, will need only a simple majority vote — the support of at least 51 of the 100 senators — but that is something that McConnell is largely undecided on.

Judge Kavanaugh’s supporters have been expecting a vote Friday, regardless of the results. Democratic senators Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Al Franken, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Baldwin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Mark Warner, Kamala Harris, Al Franken, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, and Amy Klobuchar have all vowed to vote against his nomination — but other Democrats are waiting on the results before making up their minds.

We’ll try to keep up with what’s happening throughout the night. Follow us here.

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