Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

Brett Kavanaugh flatly denied allegations of sexual assault in his opening testimony on Thursday.

I’ve never sexual assaulted anyone, not in high school, not in college, not ever. Sexual assault is horrific. … Allegations of sexual assault must always be taken seriously, always. Those who make allegations always deserve to be heard. At the same time, the person who is the subject of the allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is a foundation of the American rule of law. Due process means listening to both sides.”

In his strongly worded opening remarks, Brett Kavanaugh called the confirmation process “a national disgrace.”

This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” he said. “The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process. But you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Christine Blasey Ford a pointed question during the hearing on Thursday: “With what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?”

“100 percent,” she said.  

When asked by Rachel Mitchell to describe the scene of the gathering where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford first recounted how intoxicated she remembered Kavanaugh and classmate Mark Judge being.

“Mr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge were extremely inebriated. They had clearly been drinking prior, and the other people at the party were not,” she said. 

Rachel Mitchell, the lawyer brought in to question Christine Blasey Ford for Republicans on her accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, began her line of questioning by apologizing to Blasey Ford.

I just wanted to tell you the first thing that struck me from your statement this morning was that you were terrified,” Mitchell said. “I just wanted to let you know, I’m very sorry. That’s not right.”