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Brett M. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, one of three women who's accused him of sexual assault, are due to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
- On Wednesday, a third woman came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
- The Senate Judiciary Committee has hired a female outside counsel to question Ford on behalf of GOP senators on Thursday.
- The accusations could possibly derail the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in the vote that's currently scheduled for Friday.
What the Ford affidavits say<p>The affidavits come from three friends of Ford and her husband, Russell Ford, none of whom claim to have been present at the house party where the sexual assault allegedly took place.</p><p>Adela Gildo-Mazzon, who said she's a "good friend" of Ford's, said she learned about the allegations at a pizzeria in Mountain View, Calif.</p><p>"During our meal, Christine was visibly upset, so I asked her what was going on," Gildo-Mazzon said. "Christine told me she had been having a hard day because she was thinking about an assault she experienced when she was much younger. She said that she had been almost raped by someone who was now a federal judge."</p><p>Another friend, Keith Koegler, claimed Ford told him in summer 2016 of having experienced a sexual assault when she was younger. Ford had been reportedly angered by what she considered to be a light sentence for a Stanford University student who had been convicted of sexual assault after raping an unconscious woman. Koegler said Ford was "particularly bothered by it because she was assaulted in high school by a man who was now a federal judge in Washington, D.C."</p><p>A third friend, Rebecca White, said she spoke with Ford while walking her dog in 2017. Ford reportedly told her that she had recently read a social media post written by White in which she described her own experience with sexual assault. </p><p>"She told me that when she was a young teen, she had been sexually assaulted by an older teen," White said. "I remember her saying the assailant was now a federal judge. I have always known Christine to be a trustworthy and honest person."</p><p>Russell Ford said his wife first shared the details of the alleged incident during a couple's therapy session in 2012.</p><p>"I remember her saying that the attacker's name was Brett Kavanaugh, that he was a successful lawyer who had grown up in Christine's home town, and that he was well-known in the Washington, D.C. community," Russell Ford says. "In the years following the therapy session, we spoke a number of times about how the assault affected her."</p>
Senate Judiciary hires outside counsel to lead testimony hearings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY2NDI5NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDA2NzU0NH0.jCIRa8vTAV0EzM4DqeUUGlwOK9lYKqvsguFqkcoqy2M/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C242%2C0%2C70&height=700" id="47add" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4aaa5d024417deb678c5132575752459" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing" />
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)<p>On Tuesday night, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it had hired outside counsel Rachel Mitchell to question Kavanaugh and Ford on Thursday.</p><p>According to a news release from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Mitchell is currently on leave from her role as deputy county attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, where she's also chief of the special victims division.</p><p>"I promised Dr. Ford that I would do everything in my power to avoid a repeat of the 'circus' atmosphere in the hearing room that we saw the week of September 4," Grassley said in a statement. "I've taken this additional step to have questions asked by expert staff counsel to establish the most fair and respectful treatment of the witnesses possible."</p><p>Grassley said Mitchell will ask questions on behalf of the committee's 11 GOP senators, all of whom are male. Democratic senators will conduct their own questioning. </p><p>Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wanted to avoid a "political sideshow."</p><p>"As I said earlier, and I think you already know, we have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way," McConnell said. "We want this hearing to be handled very professionally, not a political sideshow like you saw the -- put on by the Democrats when they were questioning Judge Kavanaugh."</p><p>Michael Bromwich, an attorney for Ford, said Thursday's hearings aren't analogous to a criminal trial. </p><p>"This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate," wrote Bromwich in a letter to the committee. "The goal should be to develop the relevant facts, not try a case."</p>