He lashed out at the committee over the time it has taken to convene the hearing after Christine Blasey Ford's allegation first emerged.
She showed no hesitancy in affirming the crucial question about the alleged incident, telling senators her certainty that Mr Kavanaugh was her attacker was "100%". Democratic senators questioned her directly, but the 11 Republican members on the committee instead chose to have a female sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona question Ford. "Just basic memory functions".
"I believed he was going to rape me", she said in her opening statement.
Enter Graham, who said that if Democrats truly wanted an FBI investigation, they could have spoken up when Democratic Sen.
Ford gave a soft-spoken and steady account about what she said happened three decades ago in a bedroom at a small gathering of friends.
She claims that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her over her clothes and attempted to take them off at a house party in 1982, when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford was 15.
"If you stand with survivors, the path forward is clear: Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached ― not promoted", said Heidi Hess, co-director of the group Credo Action, according to HuffPost.
After an awkward pause, Mitchell explained the line of questioning: "I ask that because it's been reported by the press that you would not submit to an interview with the committee because of your fear of flying", she said.
Kavanaugh is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
"I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically", Kavanaugh says. The memory - and Kavanaugh's laughter during the act - was "locked" in her brain, she said.
Graham cautioned them against voting no.
The heated exchange during a recess in the a high-stakes hearing where Ford vividly and repeatedly testified to her experience, addressing questions from Mitchell and Senate Democrats.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr Ford".
Ford began her testimony by describing the anxiety accompanying her appearance before the committee.
She also recounted how the alleged attack altered her life, describing anxiety and claustrophobia that prompted her to demand adding a second front door when her home was remodeled.
Asked how certain she was that Kavanaugh was her attacker, she declared, "100 percent".
As if in response to those concerns, Kavanaugh on Thursday seemed to offer a more nuanced portrait of his high school years, at several points admitting that he enjoyed the odd drink or two. 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.
Ms Ford will testify first at the hearing, which starts at 10am (3pm United Kingdom time) and at her request is being held in a small hearing room that seats only a few dozen spectators.
Republicans are pushing to seat Kavanaugh before the November midterms, when Senate control could fall to the Democrats and a replacement Trump nominee could have even greater difficulty.