Monday, 10 December, 2018


Handwritten note on Kavanaugh, Ford hearing room table: 'Good luck, Dr. Ford'

Brett Kavanaugh Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Win McNamee Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 28 September, 2018, 21:55

He was referring to Christine Blasey Ford, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

However, Jeff Flake supported a vote to pass the nomination from the Judiciary Committee to the full Senate.

Republicans can only afford to lose one GOP vote if all Senate Democrats opt to vote against the nomination, and many congressional observers are closely watching a pair of undecided moderate Republicans, Sens. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations that he assaulted Ford while they were both in high school, while she said she was "100 per cent" certain he was her attacker.

If Kavanaugh's nomination is favorably advanced to the full Senate, this will be followed by an expected procedural vote on the Senate floor on Saturday.

The Senate, controlled 51-49 by Trump's fellow Republicans, must now decide whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh after the extraordinary almost nine-hour hearing.

That left senators to decide whether the long day tipped their confirmation votes for or against Trump's nominee in a deeply partisan fight with the future of the high court and possibly control of Congress in the balance. But Ford's account lacked firm corroboration of her claims by others at the party.

"His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting", he tweeted late Thursday.

Republican strategists were privately hand-wringing after Ford's testimony.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking member, said she has not seen a judicial nominee behave in that manner before. While he said it took courage for Ford to testify, there was no evidence to corroborate her allegations.

Republicans say the call for an FBI investigation is a transparent bid to continue delaying Kavanaugh's nomination.

Other candidates for the high court are available, the editors said, concluding, "in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson".

But the conservative jurist is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from other women as well, forcing Republican leaders to struggle to keep support for him from eroding.

Through a campaign spokesman, Sununu said the Senate "should think carefully about the next steps in this process". "The uproarious laughter between the two and they're having fun at my expense", she said, her voice quaking.

"I said that because I believe professor Ford", Baker said.

But Connie Cook Saunders, a 52-year-old fitness director for a San Diego athletic club who considers herself a moderate Republican, wasn't convinced by Ford's appearance.

The judge repeatedly refused to answer senators' questions about the hard-party atmosphere that has been described from his peer group at Georgetown Prep and Yale, treating them dismissively.

Kavanaugh, finding himself more cornered, made a decision to defend himself and insisted in an interview with Fox News that he was a virgin throughout in his high school days and beyond and that he had never sexually assaulted anybody. "It makes sense to me women are believed more now than they were back in the 80s".

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