As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh broke down describing how his reputation had been left in tatters and senators barraged him with questions, his supporters had his back throughout.
Sitting behind him during the testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday were family and friends including his mother Martha, father Edward and wife Ashley.
Facebook’s Vice President of Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan made a surprise appearance near his wife Laura Cox Kaplan, who is a family friend of the Kavanaughs and sat between the judge’s wife and mother.
Another female friend Suzanne Matan was at his left in the front row, next to Kavanaugh’s former clerk Zina Bash and White House House Counsel Donald McGahn.
Team Brett: (left to right) Father Edward Kavanaugh, mother Martha Kavanaugh, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan, family friend Laura Cox Kaplan, wife Ashley Kavanaugh, Brett Kavanaugh, friend Suzanne Matan, Kavanaugh’s former clerk Zina Bash and White House House Counsel Donald McGahn
The nominee had arrived for the make-or-break evidence session hand-in-hand with his wife Ashley – after hours of testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, 51, the woman who says he tried to rape her when she was 15.
Neither smiled as they walked into the Senate committee room for his testimony, during which he tried to convince Republican senators who hold his Supreme Court nomination in their hands that he is worth voting for.
Kavanaugh nearly broke down in tears multiple times in a 45-minute emotional opening statement to senators, as he angrily described the effect of the allegations against him on his family and his daughters – saying his youngest even wanted to pray for Ford.
Visibly angry, he repeatedly stopped to blow his nose and drink water as he unleashed against the Democrats on the committee, accusing them of making him the victim of a smear campaign saying: ‘My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed.’
And he said he believed it was an attack not just on Donald Trump who nominated him, but in revenge for ‘the Clintons’, a reference to his work on Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton.
‘This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,’ he said.
Martha Kavanaugh began crying during the hearing as she sat beside her husband and Kavanaugh’s father Edward
Kavanaugh choked up and took deep, heaving breaths as he talked about what his youngest daughter told his wife the night before he testified.
‘Little Liza all of 10 years of old said to Ashley, we should pray for the woman. That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10-year–old,’ he said.
Then he had to pause, choke back tears and regain his composure. ‘We mean no ill will,’ he added.
He also reiterated his claim he made in a Fox News interview on Monday that he was a virgin in high school and for years afterward.
‘This is not a topic I ever imagined would come up in a judicial confirmation hearing,’ he said.
‘I never had sexual intercourse of anything close to it during high school or for many years after that,’ he added.
The declaration capped an angry and emotional afternoon in which Kavanaugh fought for the empty seat on the Supreme Court and Ford meticulously went through details of the night she said changed her life