In the Capitol, Democrats denounced the F.B.I. interviews as incomplete and insufficient, while nearly all Republicans said they were thorough but unnecessary, given what they said was extensive vetting of Judge Kavanaugh.
This chasm was reflected in street confrontations around the Capitol, as demonstrators faced off with supporters of President Trump and his nominee, some of them men wearing bright pink polo shirts and “Make America Great Again” caps.
One man carried a homemade sign that read “#MeToo Fraud,” before a protester tore it in half. He called out “God bless Trump; God bless Kavanaugh,” as rape survivors told their stories and two women, Michela Vawter, of Burlington, Vt., and Kiki Hackett, of Phoenix, quietly asked him to stop.
After the testimonials, protest leaders led the crowd, ranging from college students to octogenarians, to the Hart Senate Office Building, for a sit-down protest in the soaring atrium. Protesters filled three balconies overlooking the atrium, cheering, shooting cellphone video and raising their fists as the police made arrests. Signs reading “Kava Nope” and “Fighting for Our Lives,” water bottles and paper littered the marble floor alongside a towering Calder sculpture.
Members of Congress “are sending the message that they are not taking sexual assault seriously with this investigation, which has been extremely rushed,” said one protester, Sarah Burgess, who like Dr. Blasey graduated from Holton-Arms School in suburban Washington, and was an author of a letter of support signed by 1,200 alumnae.
“I’m here to continue to ask my senators to take sexual assault seriously,” she said.