Live Blog: The Judge Brett Kavanaugh-Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Hearing, Part 2

By A.J. Katz 

So we have completed what was a riveting morning session and everyone is out at lunch.

Here’s what TV newsers had to say about the morning session of Dr. Ford’s testimony:

CNN conservative commentator Rick Santorum remarked: “Watching her, she seemed authentic…and that’s a big problem for Brett Kavanaugh.”

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, who interviewed Kavanaugh earlier this week, remarked during the break, “You have to think that Republican Senators are asking themselves whether doing it this way was a good idea.”

MacCallum’s Fox News colleague Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade shared his thoughts:

NBC News spoke with New York Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor remarked: “They’re trying to conduct a political event and a legal event at the same time, and that’s very hard to do.”

CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell shares her thoughts from Capitol Hill:

According to ABC News’ Tara Palmeri, folks on both sides seem to be stuck in their ways:

Now back to the testimony:

1:35 p.m.: Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Horono, a woman who has not been shy in her defense of Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh’s other sexual assault accusers, kicks things off:

First, she criticizes Republican prosecutor Mitchell for asking questions Hirono deems as “irrelevant and inappropriate,” and condemns Trump before it’s prosecutor Mitchell’s turn again.

The prosecutor goes back to the polygraph. She asks how the polygraph was paid for.  One of Dr. Ford’s attorneys says, “Let me put an end to this…her lawyers have paid for her polygraph.” Another lawyer added, “as is routine.”

When asked by Mitchell about the Washington Post story, Dr. Ford says they were reaching out to her “continiously…and I was not responding.” But then she decided to respond when they started showing up at her home.

Then it’s Cory Booker‘s turn. He told her he feels it’s “unacceptable” how the country deals with sexual assault survivors. “Your brilliance, shining a light onto this, speaking your truth, is nothing short of heroic,” he says, causing her to become emotional, once again.

California Sen. Kamala Harris reminded Dr. Ford (and the room) that she is not on trial, reminds the room the she is a trained prosecutor and later remarking “You clearly have nothing to gain…You have been a true patriot…You are a true profile in courage.”

At the closing of the Dr. Ford portion of the hearing, Mitchell, the Republican-picked prosecutor, questioned the format (the five-minute interrupted increments), the setting, who advised her to have it in front of senators in Washington, and said a private one-on-one setting with follow-up questions by a trained investigator would have been better.

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy tried to get a word in edge-wise at the end, but was cut off by Chairman Grassley, and then Dr. Ford’s attorney, asked if she could leave. Chairman Grassley allowed Dr. Ford to go, thanked her for coming in, for answering the questions to the best of her knowledge, and for her bravery, before taking a 45-minute recess.

Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony will begin at 3 p.m. ET.

2:30 p.m.:

TV news reaction. This photo seems to say it all…for now:

Many politicians (and TV newsers) seem to think the Democrats “won.”

But South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham isn’t completely convinced, as per his remarks to the press afterwards:

CBS’ News reporter Bo Erickson caught up with Delaware Senator Chris Coons after:

ABC News White House correspondent Cecilia Vega cites a powerful photograph of the Republican members looking on as Dr. Ford speaks:

The aforementioned Rick Santorum from CNN:

We’ll be back with Part 3 of the liveblog (part 1 of the Kavanaugh testimony) shortly!