Democrats question Kavanaugh's credibility and temperament

Arturo Kim
October 4, 2018

As Senate Republican leaders marched toward a final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, perhaps over the weekend, the three Republicans who could be key to whether Kavanaugh is confirmed - Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -criticized Trump for his remarks about Ford at a political rally in MS on Tuesday.

"We will not be intimidated by these people", McConnell said.

There are nine staff members - both Republicans and Democrats - who have access to the report and can brief members who don't want to read it in detail. However, senators would be doing so at a contentious time.

The report was arriving 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. Feeding the anxiety was an unusually beefy presence of the U.S. Capitol Police, who were keeping demonstrators and frequently reporters at arm's length by forming wedges around lawmakers walking through corridors.

"They just want to get the basic facts".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that the confirmation vote for Judge Kavanaugh before the full Senate will take place this week, regardless if the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finished its latest probe on the allegations against Kavanaugh brought by California professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. "You're not helping", Trump ally Sen. Trump said. "And a man's life is in tatters!"

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Trump's insults marked a "new low".

And despite the reports imminent delivery to the Hill, Democrats continue to raise objections about its credibility - specifically in the absence of Ford and Kavanaugh interviews.

"In addition to the substance of these allegations, Judge Kavanaugh's comportment and testimony during the appointment process have cast further doubt on his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court", said the alumni letter.

Jeff Flake of Arizona to strike a deal to avoid holding a confirmation vote until after an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, said on Tuesday that he was "concerned" about damage to key bipartisan relationships.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL quoted the tweet, adding that the tweet was "not accurate".

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"The committee stands by its statement, which is completely truthful, " the committee Republicans said.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who had been somewhat restrained in his comments about all this, shifted course Tuesday at a political rally in MS, where he mocked Ford. Lisa Murkowski called them "wholly inappropriate".

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are yet to declare their intentions.

"Standard procedures often need to be modified for nonstandard situations", Klain said.

Flake has clashed repeatedly with Trump over his behaviour and is retiring at year's end.

If true, the claim could contradict testimony Ford gave last week, when she told senators she had never given tips or advice to anyone taking a lie detector test.

"I had one beer, right?"

The investigation is set to last one week as part of a bipartisan agreement reached by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In contrast to the president's enthusiasm, a coalition of US Christian churches with 40 million worshippers has urged Mr Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination.

President Trump said that if Kavanaugh did lie to Congress, then "that would not be acceptable", but the White House has said the administration does not feel that Kavanaugh lied under oath.

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