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President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who has accused him of sexual assault, are both scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
It is a surprise hearing, to say the least. Only after several days of Kavanaugh testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee did Ford speak out, and a second hearing had to be scheduled by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for her to tell her story before the committee.
A vote on Kavanaugh has already been scheduled for Friday, but that can be postponed.
Kavanaugh-Ford live stream: How to watch the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing online
When: Thursday, Sept. 17, 9:00am CT
How to watch: The hearing be livestreamed for online via most major news networks.
C-SPAN, CNN, and ABC News will all be streaming the full hearing for free on their websites. No sign-in required. Just click on the link for the network you prefer and you’ll be taken to the appropriate page.
Fox News, NBC, and MSNBC will all show the full hearing but are subscription-only. Fox News will, however, let you watch the first 10 minutes for free, which might get you through Grassley’s introduction speech. (If you want to find a free MSNBC live stream or really want to watch Fox News online, check out our respective guides.)
Dedicated social media streams will also be available on YouTube, mostly via each news network’s channel, as well as news outlets like the Washington Post.
What you need to about the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing
The embattled judge and his accuser will be quizzed on an incident that allegedly occurred in the summer of 1982, when both were prep school students in the Washington, D.C. area. Kavanaugh was 17 at the time and Ford was 15.
Ford, a psychology professor, alleges that at a party Kavanaugh, while intoxicated, held her down and groped her, covering her mouth while trying to take off her clothes. She managed to escape after Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of him.
Ford first came forward in late July, issuing a confidential letter to Congress. After the hearings for Kavanaugh ended, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) forwarded the letter to federal investigators, asking for an investigation. Eventually, Ford told her story publicly to the Washington Post.
Since then, two other women have come forward with separate allegations about Kavanaugh.
- MSNBC live stream: 4 ways to watch online
- Fox News live stream: 3 ways to watch online
- CNN live stream: All the ways to watch online
Deborah Ramirez, a Yale University classmate, told her story in the New Yorker on Sunday, alleging that Kavanaugh exposed his penis to her at a college party. Then, on Wednesday, systems engineer Julie Swetnick released a statement via attorney Michael Avenatti to say that she had witnessed sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh at house parties between 1981 and 1982.
Kavanaugh has denied every allegation made by the women. To defend himself against Ford’s claim, he released his calendars from the summer of 1982, which prove nothing.
Thursday’s hearing will be all about Ford’s allegations. After opening statements by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Feinstein, senators will have the opportunity to question her and Kavanaugh separately.
Ford is set to be questioned first and lawmakers will have the opportunity to yield their five-minute allotted time to a pre-selected independent prosecutor. Grassley announced he had chosen Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor with experience in sex crime cases to question Ford, after concerns and criticism arose over the optics of 11 white male Republicans grilling Ford about a sexual assault case.
The hearing is expected to draw a large audience. It was originally speculated that Trump would try and distract from the hearing, as he announced a meeting that same day with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. However, in a press conference yesterday, Trump said he intended to watch the hearing and hear out Ford. He also told reporters that his preference was for Rosenstein to stay on board as deputy attorney general.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.