Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, abandoning their silence in questioning the woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, heatedly defended their U.S. Supreme Court nominee, who said his family and reputation “have been permanently destroyed.”

What had been a relatively calm and nonpartisan morning session, where Christine Blasey Ford recounted her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in the 1980s, erupted into partisan rancor between Republican and Democratic members.

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