Kavanaugh, Ford Hearing Live Stream, Time: How and When to Watch Testimony From Supreme Court Nominee and Accuser

Christine Blasey Ford will speak publicly for the first time Thursday about her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as Republicans and Democrats reach a critical point in the contentious confirmation process.

The hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, at which Kavanaugh will also be heard, is expected to be a crucial turning point in determining whether the judge will be confirmed. Defenders on both sides worked Wednesday to bolster their evidence, with Ford sending sworn statements to senators from four people she told of the alleged assault as the pressure on three reportedly undecided Republican senators increased.

Republicans have hired sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell of Arizona to question Ford and Kavanaugh. Ford, a California psychology professor, is scheduled to testify first, and then the committee will hear from Kavanaugh, who has denied all accusations of sexual misconduct.

Republican Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has refused requests from Democrats to delay the hearing, while Democrats have criticized Republicans for bringing in a prosecutor rather than handling the questioning themselves. "Dr. Blasey Ford isn't on trial—this hearing is to determine whether Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court," Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California said in a Tuesday tweet.

The hiring of Mitchell is reportedly a move by Republicans to avoid the bad optics of the Anita Hill hearing in 1991 during the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas, when an all-male panel questioned Hill.

Also on Wednesday, an attorney for Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while they were undergraduates at Yale University, told CBS This Morning that his client would also be willing to testify.

President Donald Trump has called the accusations against Kavanaugh a smear campaign orchestrated by Democrats.

If the judge is confirmed, Trump will have selected two Supreme Court justices in less than two years.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, and it will be held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

A live stream for the hearing will be available via C-Span below.

Ford told The Washington Post last week that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge had cornered her in a room during a high school party, and that a drunken Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed, groped her, covered her mouth with his hand and tried to remove her clothes. She said she escaped when Judge jumped on top of her and Kavanaugh.

In one of the four statements Ford sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Ford's husband, Russell Ford, said he first learned of the alleged assault during a therapy session in 2012, an account that aligned with Ford's claims. Three of Ford's friends also wrote statements detailing when and how Ford told them of the alleged assault.

Republican leadership has scheduled a committee vote on Kavanaugh for Friday. If approved by the committee, the nomination will then have to win confirmation from the Senate, which Republicans control, with 51 seats to the Democrats' 49. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona are viewed as possible defectors.

ford kavanaugh hearing live stream
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivers his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on September 4. He will testify Thursday, along with Christine Blasey Ford, about her allegation of sexual assault in the early 1980s. Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla
Kavanaugh, Ford Hearing Live Stream, Time: How and When to Watch Testimony From Supreme Court Nominee and Accuser | U.S.