Senators swap accusations over past FBI Kavanaugh probes

06 October, 2018, 11:50 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Women look at their smartphones in Xintiandi

Senators are due to vote Friday on whether to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

"Nobody is supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in the United States of America", McConnell said on Capitol Hill on Thursday talking about Kavanaugh, while blasting Democrats.

A pair of undeclared Republican senators accepted a confidential new Federal Bureau of Investigation report into sex-abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh Thursday as "thorough", bolstering GOP hopes for confirmation as the Senate plunged toward showdown votes on President Donald Trump's embattled Supreme Court nominee. The three were briefed together on the investigation in the secure room senators were using to view the report.

All eyes have been on a handful of senators, including Collins, who have been undecided on President Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he disagreed with the statement by Mr Grassley that the report found "no hint of misconduct" by Mr Kavanaugh.

Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was broadcast live on television last Thursday and captured the attention of millions watching.

"I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said, Kavanaugh wrote, arguing he was "forceful and passionate" in denying the allegations against him". Some of them reported their abuse at the time, but others said nothing until now.

The Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh, was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980's at a gathering.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in Friday morning's procedural vote, making Republican plans to confirm Kavanaugh more hard.

Flake announced that he would vote "yes" unless something big changed. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted against Kavanaugh. Montana voters are heading to the polls Thursday, May 25, 2017, to decide a nationally watched congressional election amid uncertainty in Washington over President Donald Trump's agenda and his handling of the country's affairs.

Six of the witnesses involved Ms Ford's claims, including a lawyer for one of them, and four were related to Deborah Ramirez, who has claimed that Mr Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when both were Yale freshmen, which Mr Kavanaugh denies.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before the Judiciary Committee was "so shocking" it makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

The cloture vote essentially wraps up debate and creates a 30-hour window in which to hold a final confirmation vote with opposing Senators unable to delay the nomination or hold the floor to block it.

Trump, himself accused by numerous women of sexual misconduct during the 2016 presidential race, wrote on Twitter on Friday that some of the anti-Kavanaugh protesters were "paid professionals", but offered no evidence of the charge.

The divisive debate over Kavanaugh, inflamed by the accusations of sexual misconduct, provoked demonstrations by thousands of people on Thursday.

Senator Joe Manchin, the only remaining undecided Democrat, said he would finish reading the report on Friday morning.

Shortly after the vote, Murkoswki made the bombshell announcement that she will not vote for Kavanaugh on Saturday.

Kavanaugh has said stories of his bad behavior while drinking are exaggerated.

"It smacks of a whitewash", Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters, saying the report should not give political cover for Republicans to vote for Kavanaugh because "it is blatantly incomplete".

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, meaning that if all Senate Democrats oppose Kavanaugh, Trump can not afford to lose more than one Republican vote for his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote. "I'll be voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh".

While the documents have not been made public, Republicans said they did not back up sexual assault allegations by Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California.

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