The Surreal Kavanaugh Hearing, Summed Up in 25 Photos

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Testify To Senate Judiciary Comm...
Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images

In the 10 fraught days since Dr. Christine Blasy Ford publicly accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault, her story—which dates back to the early 1980s, when they were both teenagers—has been repeated seemingly endlessly. Still, the Senate judiciary hearing that both of them testified in on Thursday was full of surprises—particularly after Dr. Blasey gave her tearful account, which Kavanaugh did not watch, and handed him the hot seat for what turned out to be hours, some of which were spent dissecting words like “boof.” Kavanaugh began his testimony reading aloud texts he’d recently received from a few of the many “awesome women” in his life; pointing out that he was friends with a woman who was once sexually assaulted—never mind that statistically speaking, one in five women in the U.S. will at some point be raped; and waxing poetic for a full 10, sniffly minutes about his father’s lifelong habit of keeping a meticulous calendar. From there, things only got stranger, with Kavanaugh asking his prosecutors if they, too, like beer, and men as prominent as Senator Lindsey Graham joining him in essentially throwing a tantrum—which of course only won Kavanaugh a glowing review from our Tantrum-Thrower-in-Chief. Small as the committee room was, photographers were there to capture the surreal proceedings. Here’s the entire, incredulous day, via their most telling snapshots.


The image of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford being sworn in to the Senate Judiciary Committee, shortly before she told those assembled that she was “terrified” and “did not want to be” there but felt it was her “civic duty,” was later widely shared by those praising Dr. Blasey for her bravery in testifying.


Whereas Anita Hill’s hearing took place in a large ceremonial chamber, Dr. Ford’s was in what the Washington Post described as a “smaller, more utilitarian committee room with little space for spectators or journalists”—not to mention the two stadium spotlights that shone directly on Dr. Blasey when she spoke, which reporter Jodi Kantor said gave off the “overwhelming feeling of being under inspection.”


During her brief breaks, Dr. Blasey was constantly outnumbered.


After a fair amount of grilling in the spotlight, Senator Mazie Hirono at one point reminded Dr. Ford and the room at large, “this is not a criminal proceeding. This is a confirmation hearing.”


Those words apparently did not fall upon the ears of Brett Kavanaugh, who did not watch Dr. Blasey’s testimony. Instead, he was preparing for his own—and sending a clear message by arriving holding hands with his wife, Ashley.


The Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans enlisted Rachel Mitchell as their counsel so that a woman would be the one doing the questioning—which resulted in Dr. Blasey being confronted by a crowd of male senators while a woman interrogated her on the specific radius of the country club in the Washington, D.C. suburbs where she said she was swimming earlier on the day of the alleged assault.


With Dr. Blasey’s testimony out of the way, Kavanaugh was ready to tune in. Look how tiny the room was.


It wasn’t long before Kavanaugh, like Dr. Blasey, was in tears. In his case, though, it wasn’t due to recounting memories of an alleged life-changing sexual assault; Kavanaugh, who also described going to church as being as “automatic” for him as brushing his teeth, was instead recalling how his 10-year-old daughter, “little Liza,” had said that their family “should pray for the woman”—meaning Dr. Blasey—the night before.


After getting even more emotional over the course of a long description of his father’s decades-long tradition of keeping a calendar—a word that he said no less than 19 times during his statement alone—Kavanaugh made an effort to perform-stifle his constant perform-sniffling.


Kavanaugh’s parents’ tears and loving looks at their son confirmed that, yes, a love of calendars indeed runs deep in the family.


Kavanaugh eventually had to put an end to his monologue, so that he could then interrupt every single person who spoke after him.


The hearing then briefly transformed into a real-time documentary of a white, privileged man coming to the life-shattering realization that, perhaps for the first time ever, there wasn’t a guarantee that he’d get what he wants.


Get ready for a lot more of this face.


Too bad for Kavanaugh that these Senate-branded ultramini kegs were not full of beer.


“Where’s the beer?”


Dear Alyssa Milano, does the back of his head look as dumb as the front?


Ted Cruz, perhaps realizing he has met his match in the dour face competition.


As the pressure mounted, Kavanaugh returned to his other love: calendars.


“No, you’re being childish.”


On the other hand, the possibility exists that this is simply Kavanaugh’s resting face.


When it was his turn, Senator Lindsey Graham knew exactly how to make it clear to Kavanaugh that he was among friends.


And since Kavanaugh had been wildly gesticulating…


…Graham made sure to air his own ranting and raving, too, passionately declaring the hearing to be “the most unethical sham since [he has] been in politics.”


Meanwhile, as men continued to wave their hands wildly, Senator Kamala Harris was coming to the realization that she would have to ask Kavanaugh a question as simple as “Do you think it is possible for men to be both friends with some women and treat other women badly?” (And that even a question that simple wouldn’t yield a response.)


Nevertheless, he persisted.