The Senate Judiciary Committee cleared U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with a caveat from Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. — give the FBI a week. The nomination reported favorably from the committee by a vote of 11-10 to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a full chamber vote.
But that’s not going to happen for at least a week.
Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., cornered his friend and colleague at the end of the hall a few minutes before the committee vote was scheduled to take place. He begged Senator Flake for a week-long delay to the floor vote, tops.
Ultimately, it’s up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kty., whether a vote is scheduled. But Republicans know every vote counts on this nomination, particularly given Senate Democrats’ determination to hold the seat open.
Vulnerable incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced earlier Friday he would vote “No” to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.
The nominee put on a fact-filled and passionate defense of his name. Earlier in the day, Professor Christine Blasey Ford offered her own emotional testimony, though offered nothing to corroborate the allegation.
Judge Kavanaugh, 53, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Donald Trump moved on the nomination to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced a few weeks before that he would retire, effective July 31.
The Senate Judiciary Committee began holding hearings for the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh on September 4. Despite Democrats attempting to obstruct, pay protestors and stage outbursts, they didn’t land a glove on him.
Then, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, a liberal activist and Palo Alto University psychology professor, alleged Judge Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high-school party in or about 1982, when he was 17 and she was 15. She can’t be certain of the year, how she got to and from the event, and has even given various versions of the story.
There is no contemporaneous evidence.
The allegation, which has been disputed by all parties mentioned in her account, including by her own friend, was made in a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She withheld it for 6 weeks until after the committee held confirmation hearings.
Senator Feinstein denied she or any member of her staff leaked the letter. Professor Ford herself testified that only she, her lawyer, a Democrat representative and Senator Feinstein had access to the letter. She further testified that neither she nor her lawyer leaked it.
Mike Braun, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana, pounced on the announced, saying the “entire process has been an embarrassment to our democracy.”
“Donnelly’s decision to oppose President Trump’s highly qualified nominee is a grave mistake, but proves he is more concerned with standing with his liberal Democrat leaders than standing for Hoosiers,” Mr. Braun said in a statement to People’s Pundit Daily (PPD).
“I continue to strongly support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.”
Sources also tell PPD that Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is running for reelection in a state President Trump won by nearly 40 points, was leaning toward “Yes” on the confirmation before the call for the FBI to investigate the claims. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak., and Susan Collins, R-Me., are still officially undecided.
But Senator Murkowski released a statement in support of the pause.
PPD has also learned at least Senator Collins received a call from former President George W. Bush, who has stood by Judge Kavanaugh and urged her to do so, as well.