Trump likely to win whether or not Kavanaugh is confirmed

05 October, 2018, 15:30 | Author: Norman Carr
  • Susan Melcher of Pownal protests in front of the charter bus bound for Washington D.C. from Portland on Wednesday night. The Mainers who left Portland including Susan Feiner holding an anti Kavanaugh sign at center hope to meet with Sen. Susan Collin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is declining Democrats' request for a briefing by FBI agents on the investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

United States President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans gained confidence on Thursday that his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could win Senate confirmation after two wavering lawmakers responded positively to an Federal Bureau of Investigation report on accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge. On Thursday afternoon, Anti-Kavanaugh protesters marched along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building and then protested inside the Capitol as well as the Hart Senate Office Building.

The FBI's report on its Brett Kavanaugh investigation is the hottest document in Washington, but there's only a single copy for 100 senators to share.

"This is all being done because they're afraid they're going to lose Roe v Wade", he said, referring to a 1973 judgment that paved the way for legal abortion in the U.S., which analysts say is imperiled if conservatives gain a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court.

Ramirez's attorney also said on Thursday that she had given investigators the names of a number of people from her college days who she said could corroborate allegations she has made against Kavanaugh.

But Democrats said the five-day inquiry was "incomplete" because it was limited by the White House. The vote is not a final verdict on Kavanaugh but is likely to establish his chances of reaching the Court.

The self-defence came too late for John Paul Stevens, a retired Supreme Court justice who on Thursday said he once believed Kavanaugh to be a fine judge. "I might have been too emotional at times", he wrote in the op-ed headlined "I am an Independent, Impartial Judge".

More than 40 law professors in Colorado have signed their names to a letter asking senators not to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

A senior Senate Republican aide said there was growing confidence that Republican Senators Susan Collins and Flake and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin - all swing votes - would support Kavanaugh.

Republicans and the White House trumpeted the fact that the investigation found no corroborating evidence to Ford's claims, while Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) complained that the FBI's probe was not extensive enough.

Notably, some could vote yes - and also, no - on Kavanaugh-related questions under the Senate's always-interesting rules and traditions.

Lawyers for two women making claims against Mr Kavanaugh - Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - also criticised the FBI's probe.

"The report ignores some of the absolutely crucial witnesses", said Democratic Sen.

All eyes are on the key Republicans who could make or break the nomination - Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Kavanaugh himself has categorically denied the accusations against him, calling them "last minute smears" created to delay his nomination process further.

They include three people Blasey Ford says were in the house at the time of the party.

Ford identified Leland Ingham Keyser, a former classmate, as having attended a house party Maryland in the early 1980s, in which she accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed, attempting to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.

He added: "This investigation found no hint of misconduct". Only senators and authorized staff will be able to read them.

That could back up the review into the first vote, on whether to advance Kavanaugh's nomination. The group says in a statement that at last week's dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he showed "extreme partisan bias", demonstrating he lacks the temperament to join the high court.

"Heidi made her decision, I'll make mine", he said on Thursday.


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