A woman accusing Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault is going to tell senators that she believed he was going to rape her.
Christine Blasey Ford is appearing before senators in the US later today to answer questions about the alleged incident involving Brett Kavanaugh.
The 51-year-old claims the assault happened during a high school party when he was 17 and she was 15.
According to her prepared testimony, Ms Ford will tell the Senate judiciary committee: “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help.”
She goes on to claim that Mr Kavanaugh was “visibly drunk” and locked her in a bedroom, climbed on top of her, tried to take off her clothes and placed his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming during the alleged attack in the early 1980s.
“It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” her testimony says.
Ms Ford says she was “drastically altered” by what happened and was “terrified” to go public, but believes it is her “civic duty” to share her story.
The 51-year-old was the first to publicly make allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr Kavanaugh – and another two women have since come forward.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he would consider changing his mind about Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination “if I thought he was guilty of something”.
During a news conference, he insisted the accusations against his Supreme Court pick were false and politically motivated – and described Mr Kavanaugh as “one of the highest quality people” he has ever met.
Mr Trump also said he views allegations of sexual assault “differently” because “a lot of false charges [have been] made against me”.
More than a dozen women had come forward during the 2016 presidential campaign to claim they were assaulted, groped or kissed by Mr Trump without their permission.
Sky News’ US correspondent Hannah Thomas-Peter asked the president whether he was concerned about the message he was sending out to women by using phrases such as “con job” to describe the allegations against Mr Kavanaugh.
He replied: “I’ve used much worse language in my life than ‘con job’. That’s like probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used. I mean – con job – it is, it’s a con job… it’s a con job by the Democrats. They know it.”
Also on Wednesday, Mr Kavanaugh’s lawyers submitted his calendar pages from the summer of 1982 as they sought to refute the allegations made by Ms Ford.
Deborah Ramirez was the second person to allege she was assaulted by Mr Kavanaugh – telling the New Yorker that he exposed himself to her in college.
And in a declaration statement posted on Twitter by her lawyer Michael Avenatti, Julie Swetnick became the third woman to make sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Kavanaugh.
She claimed to have witnessed the District of Columbia appeals judge “consistently engage in excessive drinking” during the socials, and that he was “abusive and physically aggressive” towards young women in attendance.
Mr Kavanaugh was said to have been involved in co-operative efforts with other males to spike drinks in a bid to have girls “lose their inhibitions and their ability to say no”, causing them to become “inebriated and disorientated so they could then be gang raped in a side room or bedroom”.
The White House subsequently issued a statement claiming that 60 people had signed a letter refuting Ms Swetnick’s allegations.
An extract from that letter reads: “We are men and women who knew Brett Kavanaugh well in high school.
“We have seen reports today that Julie Swetnick, who says she graduated from Gaithersburg High School, submitted a declaration to the committee alleging that Brett participated in horrific conduct during high school, including targeting girls for gang rape. Nonsense.
“We never witnessed any behaviour that even approaches what is described in this allegation.”
The Senate judiciary committee is trying to arrange an interview with Ms Swetnick.
Mr Kavanaugh denies the allegations made by all three women – and on Tuesday, he took part in a Fox News interview alongside his wife Ashley to defend himself.
During the broadcast, he insisted he “always treated women with respect” and had been a virgin for “many years” after high school.
Mr Kavanaugh is going to appear before the Senate judiciary committee on Friday. In prepared testimony, he said that while “those who make allegations deserve to be heard”, he has never sexually assaulted anyone and will not be withdrawing his nomination.
Other claims of sexual misconduct against him were “last-minute smears, pure and simple”, he added.