My colleague Lauren Gambino has filed this report on the unique format of today’s hearing and what’s at stake for both sides:

Each senator will have five minutes to question each witness. There are only two witnesses: Ford and Kavanaugh. Ford will testify first followed by Kavanaugh.

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In the days leading up to this hearing president Donald Trump has stood behind his nominee, describing him on Twitter as a “fine man, with an impeccable reputation”. Trump had repeatedly called into question the trustworthiness of Ford and the other women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct but, on Wednesday, appeared to slightly soften his support.

During a rambling press conference at the United Nations acknowledged that accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him affect his views on charges against other men.

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Read More Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testify at historic Senate hearing – live updates

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