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Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat, in the midst of her opening statement at Thursday's hearing on Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a sign of the partisan tension that has surrounded the hearing.

While Swetnick said she is aware of other witnesses who can attest to the truthfulness of her statements, she has not identified those witnesses.

Ford said, "The same way I am sure I am talking to you right now".

George Hartmann, a spokesman for Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, said the hearing is still going forward Thursday as scheduled.

Asked whether his own history, with numerous women accusing him of sexual assault, has shaped how he views accusations against Kavanaugh, the president said he knows what it's like to be falsely accused and suggested Kavanaugh was being presumed "guilty until proven innocent".

"A confirmation hearing about the character and fitness of an individual who's is going to sit on the country's highest court, presumably for the rest of his life, the confirmation process involves going back and looking at the entirety of the nominee's life", Hill said.

Kavanaugh has denied all other allegations.

Christine Blasey Ford read a pre-prepared statement, with her voice shaking, giving details of the evening when she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Ford said she escaped after she and Kavanaugh tumbled off the bed. "That kind of depends upon what happens tomorrow", Grassley said. The first accuser Christine Ford has also agreed to testify publicly.

Ford was seated at a table in the packed hearing room flanked by her lawyers, facing a bank of senators.

While Republicans want to move forward, they are mindful of the fallout if they do not take the accusations seriously. The Democratic Party has balked at Trump's nominee, and the controversy surrounding the assault allegations has only deepened the battle lines between the two parties.

Rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal’s arrest leaves Christian community divided in Punjab
The nun also said that Catholic Church officials had ignored her complaints, prompting her to go to the police. Mulakkal, who is the bishop of the northern Indian city of Jalandhar, has denied the accusations.

She said that during those years, she became aware of efforts by Kavanaugh and Judge to spike the punch at parties to "target particular girls", and get them drunk so they could be "gang raped" in a side room. Swetnick shared that she was the victim of gang rape at one of these parties, and both Judge and Kavanaugh were present.

"It's happened to me many times", he said, claiming he had been accused - falsely - by "four or five women".

According to a document Avenatti posted on Twitter, the woman alleges she witnessed Kavanaugh "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s". "And I believe that's why they should take the time necessary to fully contemplate that".

But on Thursday night, the committee revealed they had conducted interviews with a man, whose identity remains unknown, who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982.

After Swetnick's lawyer's publishing her statement in a tweet, Trump dismissed Avanatti as a "third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh".

"I felt so enraged", said Carola Lewis, a Kavanaugh supporter from Rockville, Maryland, who came to a rally on the Capitol in support of Kavanaugh an hour and a half before the hearing was slated to start.

She claims to have been traumatised by the event. He says Kavanaugh should not be confirmed without a full investigation.

That means that a handful of moderate Republican senators who have not announced whether or not they support Mr Kavanaugh could determine his fate.

Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has since told U.S. media that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college party in the 1980s.