Four New England senators are voicing their support for Christine Blasey Ford after she told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.
The high-stakes hearing between Ford and Kavanaugh took place Thursday, and NBC10 Boston's Eli Rosenberg was in Washington, D.C. gathering reaction from local lawmakers.
"I believe Dr. Ford," Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said. "I thought she was about as honest and true as a human being can be under the incredible spotlight."
He said his office has been "bombarded with calls from women all over Massachusetts who are telling our staff their stories."
"This is about getting to the truth, but instead, the Republicans want to steamroll women involved here, and that's just not right," Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren added.
"I think she is incredibly brave to have come forward and be willing to tell her story," Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said. "It is really unfortunate that the committee seems to be moving forward full speed ahead without further investigation of those allegations without requesting an FBI investigation. If his nomination goes forward, if he gets confirmed, he is going to be under a cloud because of this for the rest of his tenure on the Supreme Court."
Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan said Ford is "very, very brave and she is intensely credible."
"I was finding myself thinking how difficult this must be for Dr. Ford. I was thinking how grateful I am that she is coming forward," Hassan added. "I was thinking about my daughter and a lot of young women who are seeing a very brave woman come forward to share a very difficult experience to try and make a difference."
Several hundred people protested outside the Dirksen building during the hearings while Ford testified on Thursday.
Ford was the first to testify Thursday. After her opening statement, each senator on the committee had five minutes to question her. Kavanaugh then followed with his own opening statement, after which he will face up to five minutes of questions from each committee member.
President Donald Trump said he'll be watching Thursday's hearing.
"They're giving the women a major chance to speak," he said during a press conference Wednesday. "Now, it's possible I'll hear that and I'll say 'Hey, I'm changing my mind.' That is possible."
In all, three women have now come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, and NBC News reports the Senate Judiciary Committee asked him about at least one more allegation of misconduct during a call on Tuesday.
If you need support today, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available: 800-656-HOPE or online.rainn.org.