Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Kavanaugh says he might have been 'too emotional' in testimony

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso R-Wyo. speaks to reporters about the political battle for confirmation of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh following a closed-door G MoreCloseclosemore
Steven Clarke | 05 October, 2018, 18:55

Kavanaugh himself has categorically denied the accusations against him, calling them "last minute smears" created to delay his nomination process further. The US president, who had been publicly wavering in his support for his nominee, came out strongly for Kavanaugh following his testimony, tweeting that "Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him".

Supporters of Kavanaugh also turned out.

But several Democrats lit into the process, with Senator Ron Wyden branding it a "whitewash" and Senator Mazie Hirono wincing at Republican claims of comprehensiveness.

On the floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Kavanaugh confirmation was the "shameful culmination of scorched-earth politics practiced by the hard right". "The second thing we know for sure is that there's no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats".

WASHINGTON - US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday that he "might have been too emotional at times" in his Senate testimony last week in which he denied accusations of sexual misconduct.

"This has done more to wake up complacent Republican voters than anything I have seen", said Robert Cahaly, a pollster and senior strategist at The Trafalgar Group, a Republican-leaning consulting and polling firm. "I might have been too emotional at times", he wrote.

The White House defended Kavanaugh's demeanor during the hearings.

"It looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited perhaps by the White House, I don't know", Feinstein told reporters.

Kavanaugh's nomination will need 51 votes to advance.

Comment has not been provided by Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, the other Republican senator whose vote could prove critical to Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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No Republicans have said they will vote against Kavanaugh, although four have not committed to supporting him.

Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Republican who presided over last week's hearing as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

President Trump and his fellow Republicans declared the Federal Bureau of Investigation report had cleared their nominee, as they sounded increasingly confident Judge Kavanaugh would win confirmation.

Democrats saw something very different in the report.

The FBI did not interview Kavanaugh's primary accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, nor did it interview anyone who could have backed up her version of events in the early 1980s, when she claims Kavanaugh assaulted her.

The FBI also interviewed Christopher "Squi" Garrett, another classmate of Kavanaugh's who appeared on the July 1 calendar entry.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Trump administration was "fully confident" Kavanaugh had the necessary support.

Comedian Amy Schumer waits to be led away after she was arrested during a protest against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Just a single copy of the report was produced, and that was not made public.

Similar concerns moved Sen. Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democrats on the ballot in November and has seen her poll numbers slip in recent weeks.

But Manchin, who is running for re-election in a state President Donald Trump handily won in the 2016 election, told reporters that he had to leave the room before he finished reading the report because it was the Republicans' turn to check out the 46-page document - and he gave no hint about how he might vote. "It provides that designated and appropriately cleared staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are authorized to brief Members of the Senate on the results of BIs".

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