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Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, left, chats with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, right. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi /ALM

The public showdown Thursday between Christine Blasey Ford and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will not mirror a criminal investigation and trial, with its standards of evidence and strict procedures. The hearing instead, in a room on Capitol Hill, will grapple with questions of credibility, character and, for some, a larger cultural movement.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will weigh Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s at a party during their high school years. The Republican and Democratic members of the committee are judging credibility as they assess whether Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

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