Soon after tumultuous Kavanaugh hearing, swing-vote senators weigh judge's fate
Following an explosive and, at occasions, highly emotional day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eyes turned to several important swing-vote senators who remained outwardly undecided on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s fate late Thursday.
Soon after the hearing, moderate Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowksi, R-Alaska, as effectively as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., huddled to go over the nomination, Fox News confirmed.
They talked for about 30 minutes before a GOP Conference meeting Thursday evening ahead of Friday’s planned Judiciary Committee vote on no matter whether to suggest Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate.
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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Fox News following the conference meeting that followed the hearing, "I think we&rsquore going to go ahead. I worry about each 1 of these votes."
And Flake told Fox News: "It&rsquos a hard one particular. She offered very good testimony, and so did he."
"If you&rsquore producing an allegation, you want there to be some corroboration," he added. "Where is the burden? It&rsquos like impeachment. You don&rsquot know."
Republicans, which includes President Trump, have repeatedly pointed out that none of the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh made in the last numerous days has any 1st-hand corroboration.
Asked regardless of whether far more time or investigating would assist, Flake seemed to reject the thought.
"Where does this commence, and exactly where does it finish?" he asked. "more time, a lot more ludicrous allegations. What does that do to the accused?
"This confirmation process has become a national disgrace."
There had been indications late Thursday that many other senators remained undecided. It is not essential for Kavanaugh to safe the majority approval of the Judiciary Committee in order to advance to the full Senate and be confirmed in 1991, Clarence Thomas was not advisable by the committee prior to in the end becoming a justice.
"There have been no choices," Manchin reportedly said outside the hearing room. "There are some concerns that men and women have, and we&rsquore going to attempt to close the loop."
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Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, and can only afford 1 defection in their bid to confirm Kavanaugh, assuming they safe no Democratic votes.
Right after hours of testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago, Manchin stated "both witnesess have been credible," according to CNN.
Fox News has discovered that Republicans’ tentative plan is to hold a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh prior to the full Senate sometime next week.
On Thursday morning, Collins voiced reservations about moving forward on Kavanaugh’s confirmation without issuing a subpoena to his buddy Mark Judge, who Ford claimed was in the space when he allegedly assaulted her in the 1980s.
Murkowksi was photographed huddling with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill earlier in the day, sparking a flurry of speculation on social media.
Collins and Murkowski are not on the Judiciary Committee, so they will not participate in the planned vote Friday morning.
Flake, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, did not ask Kavanaugh any concerns during the hearing. As an alternative, he opted to give a common statement with out committing firmly one particular way or the other on his nomination. Flake previously had insisted that Ford be allowed to testify just before an up-or-down vote on Kavanaugh.
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In an apparent effort to appeal to senators on the fence, as effectively as to clear his name and unload on what he described as a deeply unfair and partisan method, Kavanaugh abandoned significantly of his ready remarks to blast the proceedings as a "disgrace" and a "circus," and later sparred with Democratic senators. The hearing ended Thursday evening after eight hours worth of testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh.
"This confirmation method has turn into a national disgrace," he told the committee. "The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation procedure. But you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also let loose on his Democratic colleagues throughout the proceedings, which he known as a "sham" hearing to probe sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, in a display that earned him praise from the White House and scorn from the left.
Graham alleged the Democrats’ handling was all about politics.
"This is the most unethical sham because I’ve been in politics," a visibily angry Graham stated from the dais although pointing at Democratic senators. "And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you have done to this guy."
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Ford initial brought her allegations to the attention of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in July, but Feinstein did not disclose the allegations to her Senate colleagues or federal authorities till days ahead of a vital Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation earlier this month. Republicans have accused Feinstein’s workplace of compromising Ford’s anonymity by sitting on the allegations till she could deploy them for maximum political gain.
In a dramatic moment Thursday, Feinstein claimed under questioning from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., that the full text of Ford’s letter had never leaked, even even though The Washington Post reported earlier this month that it had obtained the complete text of the letter.
None of the witnesses Ford has identified as getting present at the party where she was allegedly assaulted — which includes her very best buddy at the time — have said they keep in mind anything about the episode.
In her testimony earlier in the day, Ford — who had told Feinstein in her July letter that the party integrated "included me and 4 other people" — changed the tally once more, and told senators that there had been at least four boys there, in addition to her female buddy. (Ford had previously told her therapist in 2012 there were four boys in the area throughout her alleged assault, and later changed the number to two).
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Alex Pappas and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.
Published at Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:15:00 +0000