ON THE STAND

Photos show what Christine Blasey Ford faced in the Senate

Christine Blasey Ford takes a breath.
Christine Blasey Ford takes a breath.
Image: Melina Mara/Pool via Reuters
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Images of Christine Blasey Ford’s appearance before the Senate judiciary committee today (Sept. 27) are striking in how they illustrate the extraordinary nature of the proceedings called to air her sexual-assault accusation against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

A lone witness

Ford showed moments of strength in speaking openly about the alleged assault from decades past. A quick glimpse of her taking a deep breath before being sworn in provided a reminder of the pressure of being in the spotlight and also the burden of speaking openly about trauma.

Christine Blasey Ford
Christine Blasey Ford takes a breath.
Image: Melina Mara/Pool via Reuters
Christine Blasey Ford
A pause as Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Image: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters

A committee of mostly men

Ford gave testimony to the primarily male Senate judiciary committee. It has 21 members, its five female members are all Democrats.

Christine Blasey Ford
Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in to testify before the Senate judiciary committee.
Image: Tom Williams/Pool via Reuters

Her appointed questioner

The Republicans’ questions were primarily made through Rachel Mitchell, a veteran Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor, hired by the Republican majority, which could avoid scenes of men appearing to badger a lone woman witness.

Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate judiciary committee Republicans, questions Ford as GOP senators Mike Crapo, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and John Cornyn look on.
Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate judiciary committee Republicans, questions Ford as GOP senators Mike Crapo, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and John Cornyn look on.
Image: Tom Williams/Pool via Reuters

A trial-like setting for a victim

Many of Mitchell’s questions dwelled on small perceived inconsistencies in Ford’s past correspondence and statements. Some exchanges seemed more reminiscent of a trial than a Senate hearing.

Mitchell questions to Ford on what she remembers from the 1982 incident.
Mitchell questions to Ford on what she remembers from the 1982 incident.
Image: Michael Reynolds/Pool via Reuters