Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Key GOP Senators Undecided as Senate Poised to Vote on Kavanaugh

Chuck Grassley US Supreme Court nominee: 'I am independent, impartial'
Ginger Lopez | 05 October, 2018, 13:23

Mr Trump, who on Tuesday scornfully mocked Ms Ford's Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Mr Kavanaugh's "great life can not be ruined by mean" and "despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!"

"This investigation found no hint of misconduct", Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said in a statement. "The second thing we know for sure is that there's no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats".

"So now is the time to quit all of these antics, these hijinks, this circus-like atmosphere and we'll do that Saturday when we finally vote to confirm this good man to this important position", Cornyn added.

Kavanaugh's op-ed follows recent comments from retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens on the confirmation process.

All eyes are on those key Republicans who could make or break the confirmation - Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Another undecided Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, was asked whether Trump's comments would affect her decision on whether to back Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Anderson is among those who has asserted that the FBI's Kavanaugh-related investigation didn't go far enough, telling Vanity Fair that as he sees it, Wray is in a "tough spot".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a rare White House briefing that on Wednesday night that "the President was stating the facts" at the MS rally. "Those fears have been realized".

That teacher, Christine Blasey Ford, said he drunkenly groped her and attempted to rape her when they were teenagers attending a party in suburban Washington in the early 1980s.

At the MS rally, Trump also turned his ire on Julie Swetnick, who claims Kavanaugh took part in efforts at parties during high school to get girls intoxicated so that groups of boys could have sex with them.

The Senate vote on Kavanugh's nomination is expected to take place on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Wednesday.




"There will be plenty of time for members to review and be briefed on this supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote", McConnell said on the Senate floor. Inside that room - one copy of the FBI's report on Kavanaugh's expanded background check.

"This is now the 7th time the FBI has investigated Judge Kavanaugh", Trump said in a tweet.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, said while her party had agreed to a week-long Federal Bureau of Investigation probe with a finite scope, "We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands".

Underscoring the hardening partisan lines, one of the two undecided Democratic senators said she would oppose Mr Kavanaugh.

A handful of Republicans and Democrats have not decided whether to support Kavanaugh.

"There are dozens of people out there that they could have questioned", Hirono told AFP.

For his part, Kavanaugh testified he was "100 percent certain" none of the alleged incidents of sexual misconduct occurred. "I wouldn't want my son treated like Kavanaugh, and I wouldn't want my daughter saying that somebody assaulted her and not have any evidence of the fact".

On Wednesday, all three took issue with Trump's mocking of Ford the night before at a political rally in MS that drew laughs from his supporters.

As they mulled Kavanaugh, a Democrat up for re-election in a state which traditionally votes Republican came out against the nominee.

This scenario is projected in the figure below, which illustrates that no other nominee since 1981 has been put forward by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by votes from senators representing a minority of the American public.

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