Up Date 17:30: Under pressure from Senate Republicans Donald Trump has ordered the FBI to conduct an additional background investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who faces several sexual misconduct allegations. The FBI investigation will be limited to the current “credible allegation” according to a statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee. This will not change any minds of the Democrats who have said Kavanaugh is a “no” for them based on his ideology and judicial rulings. Depending on the outcome, it may sway the votes of several Republicans who are concerned about the allegations.
Up Date 15:05 : Shortly before 2 PM Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called the vote to send Judge Kavanaugh’s name to the full Senate for confirmation. The vote, as expected, was 11 – 10 along party lines. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voted in favor of the nomination, with the caveat that the floor vote be delayed to allow for an FBI investigation, if for no other reason than to bridge the partisan divide.
The swing-vote senator announced his support for President Donald Trump’s high court pick Friday morning. But after a dramatic series of closed-door meetings with senators from both parties, he said that he would “only be comfortable” voting yes in the end after the FBI investigates a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.
“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI do an investigation, limited in time and scope,” Flake told fellow senators on the Judiciary Committee. The committee voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The latest head-spinning twist may not stop Kavanaugh’s nomination from coming to the Senate floor by this weekend. But Flake’s maneuver drops a political land mine in the lap of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House, which now must decide whether and how to initiate the FBI inquiry Flake sought.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has joined her GOP colleague, along with several Democrats, to delay the Senate floor vote one week for a reopening of the FBI investigation focused on the allegations of sexual assault.
It is now evident that the Senate Judiciary Committee will send Judge Brett kavanaugh’s name to the full Senate for confirmation by the end of the day. It does so on a strictly partisan vote which includes the aye vote of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who confirmed his vote this morning. I have no doubt after yesterday afternoon’s debacle during Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony that the Senate is going to place Donald Trtump’s clone on the Supreme Court bench tomorrow. This will finally give the GOP what it has worked years to do, a court that will rule in their corporate masters’ favor and end a woman’s right to choose. Yes, people will die when the laws and rules that protect workers, investors and our environment and that have been in place for decades are overturned.
But to compound this felony and as an means to their end, the Republicans are putting a lying drunk who has been accused of sexual assault on the bench of the highest court in the land. As I watched Judge Kavanaugh angrily shout his opening statement, my visceral reaction was that his demeanor was not that of a person who should be sitting on the bench, any bench. His threat to avenge his treatment by Democrats was stunning and I have no doubt that he will do just that. It is crystal clear that this man in unfit but the Republicans and supporters of the Trump are choosing to ignore this.
I am not a lawyer but over the years I have been involved in many court proceedings as a witness. When Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor the Republicans hired, started focusing her questioning to the judge on the July 1982 calendar submitted by him as evidence, she was gone after the following recess. According to the committee Republicans, Ms. Mitchell was brought in to get to the truth. But as she honed in on the July 1, 1982 date with the place and names of friends who would be at an underage beer party, Ms. Mitchel was dismissed. The reason is clear: she was getting too close to the truth that the Republicans didn’t want told. It filled in the memory gap of the victim, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and exposed Judge Kavanaugh for the man he really is, a drunk liar who attempted to rape a 15 year old.
During her testimony, Ford made clear that the event at which she says she was assaulted was a casual get-together before the others (who were older than her and had a later curfew) went to other, bigger parties. Kavanaugh says that the gathering at Timmy’s on July 1 was essentially that.
We noted Thursday, too, that the time frame of this July 1 party fits with Ford’s testimony. She says that six to eight weeks after the alleged assault, she saw Judge working at a store in the area. Judge’s book indicates that he was working at that store for several weeks in early to mid-August.
This is a central point to Ford’s allegation. Kavanaugh denies knowing her, denies being at a party with her. Here is an event in July where he was with several long-standing friends, two of whom were named by Ford and one of whom she’d been going out with. [..]
Mitchell had been stepping in for Republican senators during the day’s questioning, a tactic that helped the majority avoid the spectacle of men grilling a woman about an attack she says she experienced. There was no break in that pattern — until the July 1 question. After that series of questions, Mitchell didn’t speak again.
It pretty obvious that Ms. Mitchell was close to getting at the truth and had to be stopped and they did. Republicans then turned the rest of the hearing in to an ugly, partisan sham because they couldn’t handle the truth and didn’t want the American people to hear it.
So here we are today facing the grim, frightening fact that the last branch of government that the American people had some faith in is about to be change forever. Benjamin Franklin when asked if we had a republic or a monarchy, he replied ” a republic if you can keep it.” I suspect Ben is rolling over in his grave, weeping.