NEWS
27/09/2018 23:50 BST | Updated 28/09/2018 09:51 BST

9 Extraordinary Moments From Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Committee Testimony

Anger, tears and beers.

The US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has angrily and tearfully denied a university professor’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her 36 years ago. 

Earlier in the day, Christine Blasey Ford told a Senate hearing she was “100 per cent certain” he did it.

Here are the most extraordinary moments from a day that captivated the US.

1. Kavanaugh’s angry, loud opening testimony 

POOL New / Reuters

The judge testified after Ford finished her appearance, and his denial (“unequivocally and categorically”) was striking in its tone. 

“You may defeat me in the final vote but you’ll never get me to quit,” he said at his most impassioned.

2. Crying on a number of occasions

In the most emotionally-charged moment, Kavanaugh broke into tears - and had to pause - when he said his daughter, Eliza, told his wife “we should pray for the women”.

“That’s a lot of wisdom for a 10-year-old,” he said.

3. ‘I like beer’ 

Kavanaugh repeatedly talked about his drinking by saying the same statement: “I like beer.”

“Yes, we drank beer, boys and girls. I liked beer. I still like beer,” he confirmed.

Yet Kavanaugh was empathetic about never passing out.

“Passed out would be? No, I’ve gone to sleep, but I’ve never blacked out. That’s the allegation? And that’s wrong.”

4. ‘I worked out at Tobin’s house’

Kavanaugh also became emotional while discussing a memory of lifting weights at his friend Tobin’s house.

“Many nights I worked out at another guy Tobin’s house,” he told the committee.

“He was a great quarterback on our football team and his dad ran a workout or lifted weights at Georgetown Prep in preparation for the football season.”

5. Repeated partisanship

He sharply attacked Democratic senators, an unusual move by a sitting judge nominated to the Supreme Court.

He said he was the victim of “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” after it earlier appeared he was heading toward confirmation.

He accused the Democrats of “lying in wait” with the Ford allegations, only revealing them publicly after his original confirmation hearing was completed.

Kavanaugh was unequivocal in his criticism of Democratic senators, like Cory Booker of New Jersey, for calling his supporters complicit in “evil”. 

6. Fears over no longer coaching girls’ basketball

More tears when Kavanaugh said he loved coaching girls’ basketball, and then repeated his attack on Democrats: “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.”

7.  Lindsey Graham raging

Kavanaugh had one unapologetic defender on the committee.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican Senator, mocked the suggestion that Kavanaugh is “supposed to be Bill Cosby”, and said that high school rapists usually don’t stop.

ANDREW HARNIK via Getty Images

 

Graham said the hearing was “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics”.

“Are you a gang rapist?” Graham asked Kavanaugh.

“No,” Kavanaugh replied.

(None of Kavanaugh’s accusers have suggested he participated in a gang rape. One said she saw him attend parties where other boys engaged in such behavior.)

“This is not a job interview,” he offered. “This is hell.” 

8. ‘I have a weak stomach’ 

Kavanaugh explained referring to a yearbook entry about being a member of the ‘Ralph Club’ - which appeared to be a euphemism for vomiting from alcohol.

“I’ve got a weak stomach,” he suggested vaguely. “Whether it’s with beer or spicy food or anything.”

Asked what he meant by “devil’s triangle” in his yearbook, Kavanaugh said it’s a “drinking game”. Some suggested this wasn’t quite right - as the Wikipedia entry was changed in Washington.

9. ‘I don’t have a drinking problem’

References to beer inevitably led to questions about drinking too much.

“Drinking is one thing,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

“But the concern is about truthfulness and in your written testimony you said you sometimes had too many drinks.”

She then asked whether Kavanaugh ever drank so much that he did not remember certain events.

Kavanaugh directed the question back to Klobuchar, who said she does not have “a drinking problem”.

“Neither do I,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh later apologised for returning the question to Klobuchar, who said she had a parent who was an alcoholic.