REUTERS

Kavanaugh Nomination Vote Set for Friday Afternoon, Democrats Walk Out

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m. ET

Sen. Flake Calls for Delay of Kavanaugh Senate Floor Vote

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has a deciding vote, said he would not support final confirmation until the F.B.I. investigates accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh.

“I have been speaking with a number of people on the other side,” Flake said to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We’ve had conversations ongoing for a while with regard to making sure that we do due diligence here. I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to, but not more than, one week, in order for the FBI to do an investigation limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there. And limited in time to no more than one week.

“I will vote to advance the bill to the floor with that understanding.”

The committee voted to send the Kavanaugh nomination to the floor, 11-10.

But, it’s unclear if Republican leaders — or President Trump — will support Flake’s call for the investigation.

UPDATE: 1:47 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET has not yet occurred.

According to CNN, discussions are taking place outside of the hearing room about a potential FBI investigation into Ford’s claims, and no more than a week delay for the nomination vote.

ORIGINAL STORY

Despite the explosive testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday, and the fact there hasn’t been an FBI investigation into her claims of sexual assault, Republicans are steps closer to getting him confirmed.


Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to schedule a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for 1:30 p.m. ET. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) walked out of the hearing room in protest.

“I strongly object,” Hirono shouted before leaving. “This is just totally ridiculous. What a railroad job. My answer is no, no, no!”

Democrats weren’t able to force Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to call additional witnesses to testify.

“This is a sham what’s going on in there right now,” Harris said. “Democrats are not being heard. They are pushing through this process.”

Ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein summed up their ire.

“I hoped we would do better and show women that our country, our committee, has in fact changed,” Feinstein said. “This isn’t a political battle for power, as some have said.

“This is a serious undertaking with serious allegations. While the Republican strategy is no longer attack the victim, it is ignore the victim. The entire country is watching now how we handle these serious allegations.”

Sen. Cory Booker and Harris declined to vote to protest Republicans handling of the nomination.

Friday morning, Sen. Jeff Flake, (R-Ariz.) announced his support of the nominee accused of sexual assault.

“Two key undecided Republican votes remain: Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Maine Senator Susan Collins,” according to NPR. “Democrat Joe Manchin is undecided, as well.”

The three senators spoke with Flake after the hearing on Thursday.

Democrats told reporters they have not determined whether they’ll boycott the committee vote.

“Haven’t decided yet,” Hirono said.

Republicans aim to hold a final Senate vote early next week.

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