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.
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.
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.
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.