Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein began her opening statement by introducing Ford.

“I am very grateful to you for you strength and your bravery in coming forward. I know it’s hard,” Feinstein said.

Making a broader point about the lack of justice for many survivors of sexual violence, Feinstein said, “How women are treated in the united states with this kind of concern is really wanting a lot of reform.”

She implied that the Senate is not up to the task, “Our institutions have not progressed in how they treat women who come forward.”

Feinstein compared Ford’s hearing with the 1991 Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings.

“In 1991, Republicans belittled Professor Hill’s experience,” she said. “And the burden of proof was on Prof. Hill.”

Feinstein rebuked her GOP colleagues for “plowing right through” and not giving the allegations against Kavanaugh a fair hearing.

“Each of these allegations should be investigated by the FBI,” Feinstein said, adding that all three women who have made sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh have asked for FBI investigations.

“The entire country is watching how we handle these allegations,” she said. “I hope the majority changes their tactics, opens their mind, and reflects on why we are here … this is not a trial for Dr. Ford, this is a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh.”

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