Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hearing starts at 10:00am Eastern, and the inside of the Senate Judiciary Committee has become must-see television.
President Donald Trump surprised many on Wednesday when he said that Ford’s testimony, and the accounts of other accusers, could prompt him to change course.
Trump may withdraw his nomination of Kavanaugh if what the accusers say Thursday turns out to be credible and compelling, raising the stakes of the hearing to a historic event.
“It’s possible that I’ll hear that and I’ll say I’m changing my mind,” Trump said.
The hearing room will hold only a few dozen people not on the committee. A tiny number of journalists have been allowed inside, and the number of cameras has been limited at the request of accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer.
It’s a stark contrast from Kavanaugh’s first four days of hearings in the massive, lit-for-television hearing room the committee traditionally uses for these high-profile proceedings.
Here’s a live broadcast from inside the chamber —
Earlier this week, Judiciary Committee staff interviewed two men who claimed it was them — not Kavanaugh — that had the 1982 sexual assault encounter with accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
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Staff interviewed the two men separately. The information was released by the committee late Wednesday with no statement.
There has been no indication on whether the men’s claims were seen as credible by the interviewers.
A third accuser came forward Wednesday and claimed Kavanaugh of being an accomplice in a string of “gang rapes” throughout Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s. 65 people familiar with Kavanaugh’s high school activities came forward to deny any knowledge of the accuser.
Kavanaugh himself called the last-minute accusation something out of the “Twilight Zone” and denied any impropriety.
Rachel Mitchell, a Republican from Arizona with decades of experience prosecuting sex crimes, will lead the questioning on behalf of the committee.
Mitchell works in the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Phoenix as the chief of the special victims division. She supervises attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and computer crimes against children in Arizona’s most populous county.
The Associated Press contributed to this article