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US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks with US Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) during a break in a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing with US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 27, 2018.

Brett Kavanaugh's fate may well be determined in the next 8 hours, after the showdown in the Senate Judiciary Committee between the Supreme Court nominee and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, pressed Mr Kavanaugh about his high school yearbook and the "drinking" and "sexual exploits" it mentions.

Eshoo's office contacted Ford in response to her letter on July 9, after Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court.

Feinstein returned volley, first noting that Grassley had not yet - after all he'd said - introduced Ford, then assailed Republicans for calling the accusations and resulting firestorm a "hiccup", as Nevada Sen.

Being a sexual abuse survivor herself, Ford's experience and her public telling of it deeply resonated with her and millions of other women, Paterson said.

Kavanaugh, she added, proceeded to jump on top of her, and when she yelled for help, "Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming".

"Republican senators have delayed this for weeks now", Mr Trump said. Kavanaugh, testifying second, forcefully denied the accusation and said he's never sexually assaulted anyone.

When asked whether there was any chance she was mistaken about the identity of her attacker, Blasey Ford said, "Absolutely not".

"I was underneath one of them while the two laughed".

Paterson said she knows the importance of not being alone and being believed.

Trump's son, Donald Jr., also tweeted his review: "I love Kavanaugh's tone".

Ford has said Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge was also in the room when she was assaulted. At least some of these members have received calls from former president George W. Bush in recent days, aides say.

Ford has reportedly described to friends and family that, as a result of the attack, she struggles with being stuck in enclosed spaces. She spoke of traumatic memories and decades of shame; of a civic duty to come forward and recent months of hounding media and death threats.

Republicans are pushing to seat Kavanaugh before the November midterms, when Senate control could fall to the Democrats and a replacement Trump nominee could have even greater difficulty.

"I remember being hooked up to a machine, being placed on my body and being asked a lot of questions, and crying a lot", Ford said.

The Judiciary panel's 11 Republicans - all men - let Rachel Mitchell, a Phoenix prosecutor, ask their questions. "I am an independent person", she said. The format is such that she only gets five minutes at a time, to supplant the five minutes that the Republican senator in line for questioning would get, before it's time for a Democrat to question the witness.

Flake is a particularly unique position as he is the only member of this group who also sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is now still scheduled to vote on whether to sign off on Kavanaugh's nomination Friday morning. Aides said they thought Kavanaugh was effectively fighting back and expressed optimism he could survive the process.

"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter", said Ford, referring to the area of the brain where traumatic memories are stored.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they attended Yale University, raised her profile in a round of television interviews.