As FBI Probe Wraps Up, Senate Could Vote on Kavanaugh on Saturday

05 October, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • The group opposing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination gets ready to leave Portland on a charter bus Wednesday night with the goal of meeting with Sen. Susan Collins in Washington

Kavanaugh said in the column that he believed the Supreme Court should "never be viewed as a partisan institution".

"These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations", Grassley said.

A sea of women, thousands of protesters, marched on the Supreme Court and many infiltrated Senate office buildings to hold loud sit-in protests against the judge.

Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin.

Should Republicans get the majority of votes they need - and vice president Mike Pence is available to cast the tiebreaker, if necessary - that would set up a decisive roll call on his confirmation, probably over the weekend.

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.

The FBI has been criticized by some Ford supporters for conducting an investigation they consider to be superficial and much too short.

The report arrived at a Capitol palpably tense over the political stakes of the nomination fight and from aggressive anti-Kavanaugh protesters who have rattled and reportedly harassed senators.

She said the report was "very limited" and "it looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation".

After the report's release, Collins said the investigation appeared to be thorough and Flake said he saw no additional corroborating information against Kavanaugh.

While the comments by Flake and Collins were positive, neither explicitly announced support for Kavanaugh.

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"We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on September 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land".

Most Democrats opposed Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh from the outset. At 53, he is likely to serve on the court for decades if confirmed.

Moreover, the inquiry focused mainly on the account of Ford, the research psychologist who alleges that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in the Washington suburbs.

Both Kavanaugh and his sexual assault accuser, university professor Christine Ford, testified before the 21-member Senate Judiciary Committee in an 8-hour-long hearing last week. Kavanaugh himself has categorically denied the accusations against him, calling them "last minute smears" created to delay his nomination process further.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he "might have been too emotional at times" in his testimony, saying it "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused". At times, my testimony-both in my opening statement and in response to questions-reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of awful conduct completely contrary to my record and character. A former Supreme Court justice, John Paul Stevens, has also weighed in, calling Kavanaugh's hearing performance disqualifying during an event Thursday, according to the Palm Beach Post. While some Democrats have described the probe as being insufficient to calm concerns about Kavanaugh's past, a few key Republicans have suggested they approve of the probe's thoroughness.

Notably, some could vote yes - and also, no - on Kavanaugh-related questions under the Senate's always-interesting rules and traditions.

The absence of interviews of Kavanaugh and Ford has particularly raised eyebrows.

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. Senators were allowed to read it behind closed doors in a secure location in the Capitol, without taking notes or making copies. "It's time to vote". If so, that could be enough for a Trump victory.

But White House spokesman Raj Shah said: "What critics want is a never-ending fishing expedition into high school drinking".

Police rounded the protesters up in a Senate office building after they sat down and refused to budge.

Meanwhile, about 3000 demonstrators have gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest, . Republican leaders sounded unmoved.

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