US Senate to vote on Trump's Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh

05 October, 2018, 15:31 | Author: Sue Riley
  • Where Kavanaugh's contentious nomination goes from here

But Republicans moved forward with plans for a key procedural vote on Friday and a final vote on Saturday on confirming the conservative federal appeals judge for a lifetime job on the top USA court.

The opinion piece by Judge Kavanaugh appeared in The Wall Street Journal hours after Republicans confidently declared that a supplemental week-long FBI investigation found nothing to corroborate sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump's court pick.

Senators delayed a vote on Kavanaugh so the FBI could conduct a background investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Trump would fulfill campaign promises to conservative voters that were instrumental in cementing his political coalition and will go down in history as the President who gave the conservative movement its Supreme Court. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is another swing vote who has been heavily lobbied in Alaska to oppose Kavanaugh.

Ford testified last week at a dramatic Judiciary Committee hearing that when she was 15, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth after she screamed.

FBI agents did not interview Dr. Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh for their investigation, nor did they interview a third Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick.

Patrick "P.J." Smyth, who Ford said had also attended the party, told investigators he had "no knowledge" of the gathering Ford described or any allegation of misconduct by Kavanaugh, according to his attorney, Eric Bruce.

"I said a few things I should not have said", he wrote in an op-ed published Thursday evening.

"This is now the 7th. time the FBI has investigated Judge Kavanaugh", Trump wrote.

Six University of Kentucky educators were among more than 1,200 law professors to sign a letter urging the U.S. Senate not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

She said that while Democrats had agreed to limit the probe's scope, "we did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands".

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A week after a televised Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford transfixed the nation, the Capitol campus remained a stew of tension as the election-season cliff-hanger neared its conclusion.

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley said: "The (FBI) investigation doesn't come close to honouring and respecting the women who came forward to share their stories". Democrats must gain two Senate seats and 23 House seats to claim majorities in each chamber, enabling them to block Trump's agenda and investigate his administration.

Her testimony and the accusations of the other women have turned the Kavanaugh battle into the latest chapter in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault. Instead, senators from each party will take 1-hour turns to review a single copy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation document in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol.

"I think women are going to turn out in very big numbers to express their opinion", Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, told reporters on Wednesday.

Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, wants to finish reading the report before he makes a decision, his spokesman Casey Contres told the Denver Post.

He has denied all allegations against him. Only senators and authorized staff will be able to read them.

They said 302 people were detained in total, with comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski reportedly among those arrested.

Ford, who testified before the judiciary committee in Washington on September 27, alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, when they were high school students.

"I can't get up in the morning and look at the life experience that I have had and say yes to Judge Kavanaugh", Heitkamp said.

Mr Trump, who on Tuesday scornfully mocked Ms Ford's Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Mr Kavanaugh's "great life can not be ruined by mean" and "despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!"

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