Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

A look at the deciding votes on Kavanaugh

A look at the deciding votes on Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Committee member Republican Jeff Flake speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on September 28, 2018, on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Kavanaugh was responding to accusations from a California professor, Christine Blasey Ford, that he sexually assaulted her at a house party when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Just a single copy of the report was produced, which was not made public.

The Senate is expected to hold procedural votes on the nomination Friday, with a possible final vote on whether to confirm Kavanaugh Saturday.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chewed the most scenery, calling the process a "shameful spectacle that has embarrassed the senate".

"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. And when that didn't work, then the far left tried to bully and intimidate members of this body, Republican United States senators, they've tried to bully and intimidate us.

The FBI reportedly focused on the sexual assault described by Ford and another incident described by former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who has said Kavanaugh exposed himself during a drinking party and thrust his genitals in her face. "The Trump White House working with the Republican leadership in the Senate deliberately circumscribed this investigation so that only a small handful of people will be questioned".

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Anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal that the report found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

Democrats claimed throughout the week that the FBI's additional background check was not sufficient due to its limited scope.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything, frankly, when you look at what Senate Democrats are doing, as evil, as disgraceful, as cold-hearted in all the years I've been in watching politics in this town".

If all the Senate's Democrats and independents were to oppose Kavanaugh, Trump could not afford to lose more than one Republican vote for his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote. "It's kind of appalling", he added.

Republicans have accused Democrats of seeking to delay the confirmation of Mr Kavanaugh in the hope that they will make gains in the mid-term elections in November and stop his appointment altogether.

Three Republican senators - Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - are being closely watched, as they have not yet said how they will vote.

On another question, 45 percent of respondents said they believe Ford is telling the truth about what happened when the two were in high school, while 33 percent said they believe Kavanaugh.

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Ford's legal team sent a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray questioning why his agents did not interview Ford, as well as other witnesses they said would have challenged Kavanaugh's testimony, including Ford's husband and her polygraph examiner. "We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands".

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

Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks during a press briefing about the recent FBI investigation into US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 4, 2018.

"The harsh and unfair treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters", Trump added.

With Republicans clinging to a 51-49 Senate majority and five senators - including three Republicans - still publicly undeclared, the conservative jurist's prospects of Senate confirmation could hinge largely on the file's contents.

The three senators criticised Mr Trump after he mocked Prof Ford at a rally on Tuesday for not recalling some details of the alleged assault. "Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified nominees to ever come before the Senate".

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