Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, said one of her lawyers was referred to her by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office.
Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to testify regarding her accusations – that Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down, attempted to remove her clothes and held his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming while at a house party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations.
Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor who specializes in sex crimes, was hired by the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to help with the questioning during the hearing. Mitchell asked Ford multiple questions about how she came to employ her lawyers and pay for them.
Ford initially said her friends helped her find legal representation. When pressed further, Ford said Feinstein’s office recommended attorneys, particularly the Katz firm. Debra Katz, who sat at Ford’s right-hand side during the hearing, is a well-connected Democrat with close ties to the #MeToo movement and Capitol Hill.
Ford had detailed her allegations in a letter to Feinstein, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, in July. Feinstein has faced scrutiny from Republicans regarding her handling of the letter, specifically how long it took her to inform the rest of the Judiciary Committee.
When asked if anyone was helping her with legal fees, Ford’s lawyers said they were not being paid to represent her. Attorney Michael Bromwich, who sat to Ford’s left, said he had “no expectation of being paid.”
Kavanaugh, who was nominated to the Supreme Court earlier this year by President Trump, is expected to testify before the Judiciary Committee later Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.