DRAMA IN THE SENATE: Judiciary Committee Advances Kavanaugh To The Floor BUT Flake Forces 1-Week FBI Investigation

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After a dramatic flurry of last-minute negotiations, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh cleared a key procedural hurdle Friday, but his confirmation prospects were still deeply uncertain as Republicans agreed to ask for a new FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Under pressure from moderate members, Republican leaders said they would allow the new probe for up to one week, slowing their rush to confirm Kavanaugh shortly after the new high court term opens on Monday.

President Donald Trump ordered the FBI launch the supplemental investigation. In a statement, Trump said that the updated investigation “must be limited in scope” and “completed in less than one week.”

The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had already been vetted.

Trump, who previously accused the Democrats of obstruction and opposed the FBI probing the allegations against his nominee, said earlier Friday that he would “let the Senate handle that.”

Friday’s developments unfolded a day after Kavanaugh and an accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified in an emotional, hours-long hearing that was televised nationwide. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegation that he assaulted Ford while they were both in high school, but she said she was “100 percent” certain he was her attacker.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of Friday’s drama and uncertainty. In the morning, he announced that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. Shortly after, he was confronted in an elevator by two women who, through tears, implored him to change his mind. The stunning confrontation was captured by television cameras.

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the judge. Democrats have been calling for such an probe, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it’s unnecessary.

The committee vote was 11-10 along party lines.

Flake said that after discussing the matter with fellow senators, he felt it “would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week.”

Attention quickly turned to a handful of undecided senators. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he supported Flake’s call to push off a full Senate vote until the FBI investigates Ford’s allegation. He said the probe should happen “so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote.”

It was unclear if Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would do the same.

With a 51-49 majority, Senate Republicans have little margin for error on a final vote, especially given the fact that several Democrats facing tough re-election prospects this fall announced their opposition to Kavanaugh on Friday. Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana all said they would vote no.

During Thursday’s hearing, Democrats repeatedly peppered Kavanaugh with questions about whether he would support an FBI investigation. He demurred, saying he would back whatever the committee decided to do.

The FBI conducts background checks for federal nominees, but the agency does not make judgments on the credibility or significance of allegations. It compiles information about the nominee’s past and provides its findings to the White House, which passes them along to the committee. Republicans say reopening the FBI investigation is unnecessary because committee members have had the opportunity to question both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements.

If the FBI does reopen the background investigation, agents could interview accusers and witnesses and gather additional evidence or details that could help corroborate or disprove the allegations.

Democrats have been particularly focused on getting more information from Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh who Ford said was also in the room during her alleged assault. In her gripping testimony, Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge’s laughter during the incident has stuck with her nearly four decades later.

Judge has said he does not recall any such incident. In a new letter to the Senate panel, he said he would cooperate with any law enforcement agency assigned to investigate “confidentially.”

Flake, a 55-year-old Arizonan, has made himself a central character in the drama. As a retiring Republican, with no public plans to face GOP voters soon, Flake has emerged this year as a vocal and biting Trump critic and an advocate for bipartisan cooperation in Washington, even has he largely votes with his party.

Flake’s post on the committee has given him another platform. In recent weeks, he’s acted as a committee liaison to the Democrats and moderates Republicans urging a slower process. Last weekend, he pushed the committee to give Ford more time to decide whether to testify. Democrats have been eyeing him as a possible “no” vote, leaving many surprised to see him announce Friday morning that he backed the judge. He made clear hours later his vote wasn’t yet secure.

(AP)




26 COMMENTS

  1. Even setting aside the extremely serious horrific charges against him, kavanaugh’s anger, arrogance and belligerence should disqualify him from judging a dog show, much less the Supreme Court of the U.S!

  2. Lady walks into D.A.’s office claiming Joe assaulted her at an event. She says that she has four witnesses who can corroborate her story. Defendnt completely denies being at such or even knowing of said event.
    DA calla all four of her witnesses. All four of her witnesses state that there was no such event that they know of, directly contradicting her story.
    Would DA continue to give any credence to her claim?

    Enough said!

  3. Silentmoishe, post #2,
    The answer to your rhetorical question is simple!
    Democrat accusing Republican, 100% yes!
    They’re ruthless, hypocritical cowards!

  4. Moishelah…..Aside from the obvious point made by RT regarding his blatant partisanship yesterday blaming this whole predicament on a vast left wing conspiracy involving the Clintons, etc. which itself should be disqualifying, a Senate confirmation is NOT a criminal proceeding or investigation. It is an inquiry into the total contextual evaluation of conflicting facts in combination with perceived suitability for SCOTUS. He clearly fails on the former and latter.

  5. A person gets mugged in a parking lot. 12 other people are in the parking lot in different locations and do not see it occur. Does that mean there was no mugging? Denying recollection or knowledge of an incident is NOT the same as saying it didn’t happen.
    I hope they complete the FBI investigation and speak to all the potential witnesses. They they can at least make an informed decision instead of making a political decision without of all the relevant information.

  6. A person gets mugged in a parking lot. 12 other people are in the parking lot in different locations and do not see it occur. Does that mean there was no mugging? Denying recollection or knowledge of an incident is NOT the same as saying it didn’t happen.
    I hope they complete the FBI investigation and speak to all the potential witnesses. They they can at least make an informed decision instead of making a political decision without all of the relevant information.

  7. rt, i have a letter from an ‘anonymous’ source stating that you poisoned your grandmother years ago. Prove it to all of us that you did not do this.

  8. Anger?- How would you feel if you and your family were being destroyed because of something someone is saying you did 36 years earlier? (Whether you did it or not.)
    Arrogance?-How, where, when?
    Belligerence?-How would you react if someone accused you of something like this? Would you not defend yourself? (Whether you did it or not) Yet you call his defending himself belligerence.
    Now whether he did it or not I dont know and honestly we probably will never know the truth. But I don’t understand why this matters. IT WAS 36 YEARS AGO. 36 YEARS!!! people change, why should this affect his chances? That’s besides the fact that before this people were saying hes a great person, etc. And, the fact that the Dems knew about this for a while before they released it; so they didn’t release it just to be honest they released it at a crucial time so that they could keep someone that would vote against their policies out of the supreme court until they could put one of theirs in the position to further their sick agendas.
    Yet you rt think that this man has shown anger, arrogance, belligerence. Really?

  9. I think that this man should immediately be voted in to become the judge.
    He was investigated by the feds every time he got a promotion, you don’t think they would have found out about this by now. Do you think every fed who ever investigated him throughout the years was an idiot who didn’t know how to investigate someone. And Dr. ford conveniently not remembering many details, well it is easier to lie if you claim you don’t remember everything, and just give a few small details rather than make up a whole long story that can accidentally trip you up and show that your lying.

  10. His anger at those disgraceful slanderers is entirely appropriate. Everyone one of them knowingly and deliberately conspired to procure false witnesses to destroy his name. He *should* be angry at them and so should everyone else. They are contemptible. And if they get away with it then they will do the same to the next person and the next one after that.

    The only way to stop it wlll be for some brave person to do the same to each of them. Make up a story, the more outrageous the better, and insist that by their own standard the accuser must be believed.

    What a chutzpah Blumenthal in particular has accusing anyone of lying.

  11. rt says:
    September 28, 2018 10:40 am at 10:40 am
    Even setting aside the extremely serious horrific charges against him, kavanaugh’s anger, arrogance and belligerence should disqualify him from judging a dog show, much less the Supreme Court of the U.S
    ———————
    rt,
    Are u the dog?
    Let the show begin!

  12. Silentmoishe, you seem rather confused, “DA calla all four of her witnesses. All four of her witnesses state that there was no such event that they know of, directly contradicting her story.” There is no DA involved in the senate hearing, and you are wrong about the contradictions you infer. You are better served by reviewing primary documents rather than aping the talking points of right wing media.

  13. I have never seen so much liberal hatred snarl up everything. Anything that Trump does or wants to do, the liberals are against. They are so filled with hatred they can not see straight. They are ruining America….

  14. @rt You threw me down a flight of stairs in 2011. I never came forward till now because it was such a horrific, traumatic event in my life. However, Nobody was there to see it…I’m accusing you!! Believe me everyone! And RT, don’t you dare get upset or angry! RT calm yourself! RT you wouldn’t want people to think you’re crazy! If you get upset at this very true accusation then people are going to think you have an anger problem!! Don’t you dare deny this very serious allegation!

    Any person with half a brain can see right through these disgusting democrats. It scared me to think that people like you who believe these democrats and have this liberal agenda that loves killing babies and crafting their own morality live amongst me.

    Seriously, change.

  15. Kavanaugh appeared so immature throughout the process. Besides for dodging simple questions over and over and over and over, his regular angry outbursts made him appear unworthy of US Supreme Court justice. Here’s one quote of Kavanaugh to Senator Whitehouse: “I like beer. I like beer. I don’t know if you do… do you like beer, Senator, or not?” Here’s another quote: “But in any event, we drank beer, and — and still do. So whatever, you know.” Or this line to Senator Klobuchar: “Yeah, and I’m curious if you have [a drinking problem].”

    Of course he was rattled, but his behavior over and over reminded me of an immature person. It was a horrible contrast from the mature, brilliant, and eloquent Gorsuch. Why can’t the GOP just find another conservative who doesn’t have bad history?

  16. A precedent wherein an accuser can successfully besmirch another individual without any evidence, cant be established. For then any public figure can be shunned by anyone with just an actor. I am not suggesting in any which way that Dr. Ford is a actor, however one must look an the full picture and recognize what precedent is being made.
    The previous understanding was that to ruin someone with an allegation, you didn’t need definitive evidence of their guilt, but you at least needed corroborating witness(that the accuser and the accused actually knew each other or that they were together at the time the allegation states). Such in this scenario is absent, So without such one shouldn’t be ruined. Even if one was to venture to say that one may deduce from that accused overall character (either from the quantity of allegations , or witnesses to overall creepy behavior(i.e. Roy Moore), the accused in this scenario has throngs of woman who praise his character. I would argue as well that any reasonable person would agree that this third allegation is non-trustworthy and the 4th is laughable; bringing the total of allegations on his to 2. Such a minute number is not sufficient to use the “How could so many people be lying” reasoning.
    Therefore one should assume he is innocent no matter how much you hate him because of his judicial philosophy, no matter how emotional the accuser is, and no matter how the accused responds.

  17. Get ur info straight first.he has 2 daughters.no sons.
    If the allegations are true yet he has no recollection of them,should they disqualify him from SCOTUS seeing as it happened 36 years ago ? And has acted appropriately all his adult life?