Key Undecided Senators Meet Privately on Kavanaugh Vote

Howard TerryOct 01, 2018

The American Bar Association said the Senate should not hold a confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court until the FBI investigated sexual assault allegations against him that were made by Christine Blasey Ford and other women.

Following Ford's insistence that she is "100 percent" sure Kavanaugh assaulted her, and Kavanaugh's insistence that he is "innocent", many on the Senate Judiciary Committee seemed to come away with the opinions they espoused before.

Still, most GOP senators were likely to stick with Mr Kavanaugh, especially without corroborating evidence from Ms Ford to back up her story.

Ahead of Thursday's hearing, at least four Republican governors spoke out, three of whom called for delaying or forgoing the Senate's vote to confirm Kavanaugh altogether.

Under questioning during the hearing from Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor hired by the Republicans, Ford acknowledged that she had contacted two Democratic lawmakers with her allegations.

Throughout the hearing, Ford was accommodating to the Democratic senators' and Mitchell's questions, which included smiling at jokes, apologizing for her lack of specific memory in some cases, and responding respectfully to everything. Flake previously had insisted that Ford be allowed to testify before an up-or-down vote on Kavanaugh.

Concise News had reported earlier that Trump's nominee for the US Supreme Court angrily denied sexual assault allegations and condemned his bitter Senate confirmation process as a "national disgrace".

Casting aside the norms of decorum that have traditionally characterized such Senate hearings - norms that Kavanaugh had largely adhered to during his earlier appearances - the nominee appeared unconstrained as he expressed clear hostility toward Democratic members.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., also praised Kavanaugh.

"I want to know what you want to do", Durbin said in an exchange that grew progressively louder.

"Since my nomination in July, there's been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything, to block my nomination", Kavanaugh said.

After hours of testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford, Manchin said simply, "both witnesses were credible", according to CNN.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Justice Committee hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Ford said Kavanaugh pushed her into a room and pinned her to a bed.

"Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him", Trump wrote on Twitter. She said Trump thought Kavanaugh's testimony was "powerful, it was riveting and it was honest". Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asked if he'd ever passed out drinking. "I like beer", he said, but he also said he'd never passed out and never attacked Ford.

Bush has spoken to Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME as well as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia over the past several days - in an effort that the personal familiar with the outreach says Bush initiated.

During Kavanaugh's 45-minute opening statement, senators watched intently, the only sound the clicking of cameras.

Trump postponed a Thursday meeting on his possibly to-be-fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, instead planning "to meet next week", a White House spokeswoman said.

He also believes Kavanaugh will be confirmed: "Unfortunately, yes".

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