US Senate braces for key vote on embattled court nominee

05 October, 2018, 13:28 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Chuck Grassley

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday to explain his intense and angry behavior during last week's hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, called for an FBI investigation into the allegations last week.

On Thursday, thousands of protesters marched on the Supreme Court and the Hart Senate Office Building bearing signs that said "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope" while chanting against the candidate. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested, including actress Amy Schumer.

The controversy over Kavanaugh's nomination is coming to a head now as the Senate prepares to vote on his nomination, likely in the next two days.

The controversy has unfolded just weeks ahead of the November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from the Republicans.

A senior Senate Republican aide said there was growing confidence that Collins, Flake and Manchin - all swing votes - would support Kavanaugh. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME, along with Sen.

He added: "This investigation found no hint of misconduct".

Almost 8 in 10 Republicans said they approve of how Trump has handled the allegations in the new poll, which was conducted before Trump mocked Ford at Tuesday night's rally.

Earlier, the FBI delivered the results of its investigation on the sexual assault allegations to United States senators.

Corker, who is retiring in January after two terms in the Senate, said, "This is the worst it's been since I've been here".

"An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony - can not be called an investigation", her legal team said in a statement. Gardner's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

A handful of Republicans and Democrats have not decided whether to support Kavanaugh. The price of locking in a conservative Supreme Court majority for decades may be loosing control of Congress this November.

He urged his colleagues to confirm the judge.

Cornyn also noted that the entire process could have been avoided if Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) went through the normal process and alerted committee members about the allegation when she first heard of it.

The 53-year-old judge made what were in effect closing arguments by acknowledging that he became "very emotional" when forcefully denying the allegations at a judiciary committee hearing last week.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it was now time for the full Senate to vote on Mr Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court - even as opposition leaders slammed the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe as "incomplete".

He wrote that his testimony "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused". So don't tell me we haven't spent enough time.

The Senate is all set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation this Saturday, with no further delay.

During the press conference, McConnell stated that there is nothing that will satisfy Senate Democrats.

On Thursday afternoon, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens told a small gathering in Boca Raton, Florida, that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed, according to the Palm Beach Post. The nomination battle boiled down to a "he said, she said" conflict requiring senators to decide between diametrically opposed accounts offered by Kavanaugh and Ford.

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