High drama in Senate for pivotal Kavanaugh-Ford showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee braced for a history-making clash as Brett Kavanaugh and one of his accusers awaited their chance to testify Thursday about her claim that the Supreme Court nominee sexually attacked her when both were teenagers.

The embattled appeals court judge emphatically rejected that allegation from Christine Blasey Ford as well as accusations from other women as Republican leaders struggled to keep support for his elevation to the high court from eroding.

The committee of 11 Republicans, all men, and 10 Democrats was to hear from just two witnesses on Thursday: Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge who has long been eyed for the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor who accuses him of attempting to rape her when they were teens.

Early Thursday, all was eerily quiet outside the hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, across the street from the Capitol. Photographers and a contingent of Capitol Hill Police officers waited in the hallway, and access to corridors near the room was restricted. There were no signs of the modest number of public spectators who will be allowed inside.

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