"I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school".
After seeing Ford's powerful testimony, White House aides and allies expressed concern that Kavanaugh, whose nomination already seemed to be teetering, would have an uphill climb to deliver a strong enough showing to match hers.
In the committee's packed hearing room for hour upon hour Thursday, both Kavanaugh and Ford said the alleged assault and the storm of controversy that has erupted 36 years later had altered their lives forever and for the worse - perhaps the only thing they agreed on during their separate testimony marked by a stark contrast of tone and substance.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and other sexual assault accusations from two other women.
Trump reportedly advised Kavanaugh to jettison the school choirboy persona he'd taken on during his pre-buttal on Fox News Channel, and go after his accusers more aggressively.
The questions seemed more geared toward undermining Dr Ford's credibility - the kind of strategy useful during depositions or trials to undermine a jury's trust in a witness or, perhaps, force them to crack under the accumulated pressure of the interrogation.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh told senators on Thursday the allegations have left his family and his name "totally and permanently destroyed". Later, she said her certainty was "100 percent".
The "trauma-related experience" was seared into her brain, she said.
Grassley began by lashing out at Feinstein and Democrats for not making Ford's private letter public sooner and defended the lack of an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the allegations.
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter", said Ford, who is a research psychologist, "the uproarious laughter between the two". Judge has said he doesn't remember the incident and has declined to appear before the panel. After she was sexually assaulted in her teens by an older man she told her parents, who believed her.
"I just wanted to let you know I'm very sorry", Mitchell said.
'In a letter on August 31, 2018, Senator Feinstein wrote that she would not share the letter without my consent, ' said Ford.
As her time for questioning Ford was coming to an end, Mitchell rhetorically asked Ford about the best way to question victims of sex crimes. Referring to the Constitution's charge to senators in confirming high officials, he said, "You have replaced "advice and consent" with 'search and destroy".
Ford began her testimony by describing the anxiety accompanying her appearance before the committee.
After Mitchell asked Kavanaugh several detailed questions about Ford's allegations, the GOP senators took matters into their own hands. Sen.
Trump has also criticized Republican leaders in Congress for not speeding the process along, leading to days' worth of revelations against Kavanaugh.
At a fundraiser at his hotel Wednesday, Trump said Kavanaugh "knocked it out of the park" and called the hearing "painful" to watch. The committee is now comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, leaving the majority with little margin for error - if just one Republican breaks, the nomination will be left in limbo.