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Brett Kavanaugh says family name 'destroyed' by sex assault claim

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Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations.

"I am innocent of this charge", Kavanaugh thundered.

Although they were at no point in the hearing room together, the clash pitted his word against hers.

It was not clear, however, if the drama changed the views of any senators. A procedural test vote is expected on the Senate floor Saturday, and Republican leaders' goal is to hold a final Senate vote early next week.

Protesters cornered the Republican senator seen as the possible swing vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination after he announced his support for the judge. The full Senate could vote within days.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, told Blasey Ford he found her testimony "powerful and credible". "The Senate must vote!"

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC also mentioned the ABA's assessment during an impassioned defence of Judge Kavanaugh on Thursday.

Ford said she remembered the boys laughing - a noise, she said on Thursday, that has been seared into her memory for 36 years.

Interested in Supreme Court?

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.: "You've never forgotten that laughter".

Blasey Ford also described receiving an outpouring of public support from people "in every state of this country" - as well as death threats and online tormenting that have forced her and her family to move out of their house.

Michael Avenatti has followed through on a promise to name a third woman with misconduct accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the timing before Thursday's confirmation vote has been slammed as political.

Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges she was paid to keep a sexual relationship with US President Donald Trump quiet.

Watching a time-delayed recording of Ford's emotional testimony aboard Air Force One on Thursday, Trump remained rapt - and largely quiet. Cory Booker, "nothing short of heroic". "And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you've done to this guy".

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and other sexual assault accusations from two other women.

The hearing kicks off at 10 AM ET and Ford is first up.

"I tried to yell for help", she said.

"I believed he was going to rape me", Ford said.

The general feeling inside the White House is that Ford was "very credible" and "compelling", another official said, who added that her testimony doesn't take away the partisan criticism for why she came forward so late in the confirmation process.

Democrats have rallied strongly behind Ms Ford.

The judiciary panel's 11 Republicans - all men - let Rachel Mitchell, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona, ask their questions.

While Mitchell probed Ford's account looking for gaps, her questioning seemed disjointed. He told at least one senator that it may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Asked his thoughts on Kavanaugh's testimony, Leahy responded: "I found it well rehearsed". Ford cried again when Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey called her "heroic".

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