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Brett Kavanaugh swears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, following Christine Blasey Ford's hearing.

One big quote: "My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed," Kavanaugh said in his opening remarks. "This confirmation process has become a national disgrace … you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy."

Brett Kavanaugh

3:19 PM In his opening statement, Kavanaugh said he will not be intimidated. "You may defeat me in the final vote, but I will not quit. I have never sexually assaulted anyone."

3:45 PM Looking back at high school, Kavanaugh said he cringed at a few things, "for one thing, our yearbook was a disaster." He added that the "Renate alumnus" line from his yearbook entries was a term of endearment, and was meant as a reference to her being "one of us," not anything related to sex.

4:03 PM Ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked why Kavanaugh did not ask the FBI to investigate. He replied: "The FBI doesn’t reach a conclusion. It’s an outrage that I was not allowed to come [before the committee] and immediately defend my name."

4:05 PM Kavanaugh calls the Julie Swetnick allegation a joke and a farce.

4:07 PM When asked what number he considers as "too many beers." Kavanaugh said the figure is whatever "the chart" defines as too many. He repeatedly stated he had never drank to the point of "blacking out" while in high school.

4:11 PM Short recess.

4:30 PM Kavanaugh discredited the drunken "Bart O'Kavanaugh" described by Mark Judge in his book. He said that was a fictitious character, someone Judge made up to cope with his own addiction.

4:40 PM Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he wants to suspend Kavanaugh's confirmation process until the FBI completes an investigation. Kavanaugh called Durbin's question "phony," then said he'd cooperate with whatever the committee wants to do. However, he did not say he'd ask for an FBI investigation.

4:47 PM Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the hearing "is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics." He added that Kavanaugh is as much a victim as Ford is.

  • Graham to Durbin: "If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat hostage and hope you win in 2020."

5:30 PM Kavanaugh apologized to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for asking her to answer her own question: "Did you ever black out from drinking too much alcohol?" His question came after she told him her father had been an alcoholic.

5:33 PM Kavanaugh said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did not bring up any of the allegations when she interviewed him on the Hill over the summer.

6:36 PM Kavanaugh said he has not taken a polygraph test because they are not admissible in court, but will do if asked.

6:41 PM On if he watched Ford’s testimony: “I did not. I plan to, but I did not. I was preparing mine.”

Go deeper

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.