Palo Alto psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford delivered powerful testimony about her alleged past sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Ford's testimony comes after more than a week of debate since she came forward publicly with her explosive allegation in The Washington Post. During that time there were contentious negotiations with the Judiciary Committee's Republican leadership over how the hearing, which at times looked like it might not happen, would be handled.
Ford alleges Kavanaugh held her down and tried to remove her clothes at a party in 1982 when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation.
Here are some of the most powerful moments from Ford's much-anticipated testimony:
'I believed he was going to rape me'
There were several powerful moments in Ford's opening remarks, including details about the night she "met Brett Kavanaugh, the boy who sexually assaulted me." She said that when Kavanaugh climbed on her, she "believed he was going to rape me." She said when he put his hand over mouth, it was hard for her to breathe and that she thought "Brett was accidentally going to kill me."
Ford says she is '100 percent' certain it was Kavanaugh
Responding to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., about how certain she was that it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted her, Ford looked directly at him and said, "100 percent."
Leahy asked his question in the context of a number of Kavanaugh supporters having proposed a theory that Ford may have actually been assaulted in the past but was mistaken about the identity of her attacker. Late Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee released information about two men who claimed they, not Kavanaugh assaulted Ford.
'I am no one's pawn'
Ford said that the "last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life" as she has had to relive her trauma, seen her "life picked apart" and been "accused of acting out of partisan political motives." But Ford strongly disputed that assertion.
"I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life," she said.
Ford remembers ‘the laughter. The uproarious laughter’
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said that many people were focused on what Ford could not remember about that night but she wanted to know what Ford could not forget. Ford said she remembered details of the house where the alleged assault took place and then appeared to fight back emotion as she added, “The laughter. The uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so."
Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., also asked her about her strongest memory from the alleged assault.
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter," the psychology professor said. "And their having fun at my expense."