McConnell: FBI report won't be 'reason for delay' on Kavanaugh vote

by Garry Watts October 3, 2018, 1:35
McConnell: FBI report won't be 'reason for delay' on Kavanaugh vote

It comes as the FBI presses ahead with its investigation, questioning in recent days at least three people about accusations of misconduct against Mr Kavanaugh dating to when he was in high school and college. ABC News reported that the agency finished its interview with Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, who Ford identified as a witness to the assault. The day before, Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee saying that he never sexually assaulted anyone, including Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in 1982. On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona broke with his fellow Republicans and said that although he supported moving Kavanaugh's nomination out of the committee, he called for the FBI to investigate credible allegations against Kavanaugh.

The allegations against Kavanaugh - including sexual assault and exposing himself to a young woman in college - have sparked the latest reckoning in America about sexual assault and men's treatment of women, bringing the #MeToo movement back to the fore. The list, reportedly drafted by Senate Republicans, did not include former classmates who contradicted Kavanaugh's testimony about the extent of his youthful drinking and partying.

Julia Swetnick says she went to house parties attended by Mr Kavanaugh in the early 1980s, where she said he and his friends tried to "spike" girls' drinks.

The activists behind the protests said they planned to keep up the effort as the FBI investigates accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and college.

Kavanaugh and Judge have also denied Swetnick's allegations.

Continuing after a brief, somber pause, she said, "I'm a victim of sexual assault".

Kavanaugh has denied all these allegations calling them "a smear".

The votes of the three Republicans and those of red-state Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota will largely determine whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.

But the undecided senators - Flake, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, all Republicans; and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, both Democrats - are keeping an open mind.

The process has taken months, starting with most senators meeting privately with President Donald Trump's nominee followed by a week of public hearings.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging that senators will begin voting on Kavanaugh's nomination this week, and criticized what he called "endless delay and obstruction".

Ludington said he was a varsity basketball and that Kavanaugh enjoyed socializing with athletes. The email says, "Judge Kavanaugh indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered".

Supreme Court nominations require Senate confirmation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has said that the investigation would be "limited to current credible allegations" - raising questions over exactly what would be investigated given that Kavanaugh faces multiple allegations.

The FBI has initiated its investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh at the direction of the White House after Flake last week - with the backing of Murkowski and Collins - called for a delay in consideration of the nomination so that the FBI could undertake a review.

Trump insisted on Twitter that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had "free rein" to pursue the matter as it saw fit.

Trump later said he had seen one Democratic senator who was "very aggressive" in some "very bad situations", although he wouldn't say whom and didn't get more specific.

"The White House isn't intervening, we are not micromanaging this process", she said.

"We debated the balanced budget amendment", he said and then added a dramatic mock yawn.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the one-week limit was fine, but "everyone is asking it be done thoroughly and completely within that week".

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