Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote On Hold Pending Renewed F.B.I. Investigation

Surprise developments yesterday led to a pause in the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh. Where it goes from here is unclear.

At the start of the day yesterday, Senate Republicans appeared intent on pushing forward with the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court notwithstanding the outstanding questions regarding his past behavior raised by the charges made by women such as Christine Blasey Ford, Debbie Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which had concluded the hearing at which Dr. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh both testified just hours earlier, convened early in the morning for what was supposed to be a smooth sail toward the Senate floor and, depending on what a handful of Republican Senators did, confirmation as early as next week. It seemed even more likely that this would happen when Senator Jeff Flake, who had been announced that he would vote in favor of the nomination both in the Committee and on the Senate floor. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Flake had an epiphany that led to a deal which has put the final floor vote on hold for at least week while the Federal Bureau of Investigation reopens its background investigation of Judge Kavanaugh:

President Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to reopen the investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh’s background, a stunning turnaround in an emotional battle over sexual assault allegations that has shaken the Senate and reverberated across the country.

The dramatic developments capped an extraordinary day on Capitol Hill, which began with a sense of momentum for Kavanaugh but then sharply changed when one of Trump’s fiercest Republican critics, Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), who at first endorsed the nominee, emerged from a private meeting with Democrats to call for a renewed inquiry into misconduct allegations.

Flake’s move puts in doubt the fate of Kavanaugh, who has in recent days drawn strong support from Trump and other top Republicans, but now faces another week of scrutiny and must watch as senators in both parties endure mounting pressure from their ­respective bases to either rally to his side or block his confirmation.

Conservatives have demanded that Republicans confirm Trump’s second Supreme Court pick, a judge who could shift the high court to the right for a generation, or face political consequences in midterm elections in six weeks with the control of Congress at stake.

The delay once again thrusts the FBI, an increasing target of Trump’s ire, into the center of a politically charged controversy.

Flake, who at one point Friday was confronted by two women who tearfully and angrily urged him to consider the pain of sexual assault survivors, was soon joined by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and hailed by Democrats for forcing a one-week delay in the nomination process to allow for the federal inquiry.

“There’s lingering doubt out there among a lot of people that we haven’t taken every measure that we should to make sure that these allegations are dealt with,” Flake told reporters Friday after the Senate Judiciary Committee said it requested the White House call for an FBI probe. ”That’s what this effort is about.”

The request for a supplemental FBI background check will almost certainly delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote beyond Tuesday, the tentative date eyed by Senate GOP leaders. But Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had no choice but to placate the small core of undecided senators whom Trump has little power to influence.

Late Friday, by voice vote, the Senate took an initial step to move ahead on the nomination. Barring no major revelations from the FBI, the Senate could vote on confirming Kavanaugh next weekend, days after the start of the high court’s session.

The FBI has already cleared Kavanaugh through six background checks for his previous public-service jobs, a point the nominee underscored in a statement Friday while adding, “I’ve done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate.”

More from Politico:

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination cleared a key Senate hurdle Friday — before pausing for an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegation against him, forced by a dramatic maneuver from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

Flake announced his support for President Donald Trump’s high court pick Friday morning, only to say that he wouldn’t “be comfortable” backing a final vote after a dramatic series of closed-door conversations with senators from both parties. The Senate formally took up Kavanaugh’s nomination on Friday, but the judge’s bid immediately thrown into limbo.

After announcing he was on board, Flake said hours later he wanted the FBI to take up to a week to investigate a sexual assault claim against the Supreme Court hopeful. The apparent reversal stunned the Capitol, and gave at least fleeting hope to liberals that Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not a fait accompli.

“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI do an investigation, limited in time and scope,” Flake told fellow members of the Judiciary Committee, which later voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.

Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to conduct a “supplemental” investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations. That inquiry will last no more than one week, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.

Even though the latest head-spinning twist in Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight didn’t stop the nomination from formally coming to the Senate floor, it’s effectively not moving forward until next week. Flake’s maneuver dropped a political land mine in the lap of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House, which now must keep Kavanaugh’s nomination on an already narrow path to approval.

Cornyn said he felt “very positive” about Kavanaugh’s prospects, but Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — other undecided votes the judge needs for confirmation — all aligned Friday with Flake’s push for an FBI probe.

“We asked the FBI to reopen [Kavanaugh’s background check] and they will put a priority on this, obviously,” Murkowski said Friday. “I’m certain that they will do it just as quickly as they can, and we will move forward from there.”

Flake told fellow senators that “this country is being ripped apart here” before making his move, as national anger flares over Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh, in a statement Friday, said he’s done “everything” the Senate has asked of him and “will continue to cooperate.” Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, said Ford welcomed the investigation, adding that “no artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.”

While Flake has been quiet about exactly why he changed his mind, one possibility is an encounter he had just before the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting began yesterday morning:

Sen. Jeff Flake was confronted at the US Capitol Friday morning by two women who say they are sexual assault survivors, an event that happened just hours before he called for a delay of the Senate vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Arizona Republican, a key swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was stopped in a Senate office building elevator on his way to the panel’s vote on whether to recommend Kavanaugh and excoriated by two women who wanted to know why he was voting yes.

Flake ended up voting with his Republican committee members to vote Kavanaugh’s nomination favorably out of the committee to the Senate floor but seemed to have a change of heart. He voted for Kavanaugh on the condition that the Senate delay the floor vote by one week so the FBI could investigate the claim. It is unclear how his call for an FBI probe will change his backing of Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has been accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her decades ago. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation.

The women who confronted Flake sharply criticized him moments after his initial statement of support was made public.

“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children,” one of the women, Ana Maria Archila, yelled at Flake. “I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?”

“I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me,” the other woman, Maria Gallagher, told Flake. “I didn’t tell anyone and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them. That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you are telling all women in America, that they don’t matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you’re just going to help that man to power anyway.”

Flake was visibly uncomfortable. He quietly listened to the women and alternated between making eye contact with them and looking down at the ground.

Gallagher continued through tears, “Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me. That you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do with their bodies.”

Flake did not address the two women’s questions directly, but repeatedly said, “thank you” — including when he was asked by Archila if he thinks Kavanaugh is telling the truth.

When Archila insisted on an answer, Flake replied, “I have to go to the hearing.”

She pressed him again — asking, “Do you think that he’s telling the truth?” — to which Flake answered “thank you,” again.

Here’s video of the meeting, which was broadcast live on CNN and ended being repeated throughout the day:

Whatever the reason, Flake’s change of heart and the fact that he quickly gained the support of Senators such as Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin is the reason why the Senate’s proceedings regarding the Kavanaugh nomination are on hold for at least the next week. Without their votes, and most likely without the vote of Susan Collins who probably would have supported the move but was apparently at an event in Maine yesterday and thus unable to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday, Republicans would not have the support necessary to confirm Kavanaugh even with the tie-breaking vote of the Vice-President. As a result, both McConnell and the President were left with a choice. Either they agree to reopen the background check as requested with at least the possibility that after it’s done they’ll have enough votes to confirm, or they let the nomination die on the Senate floor. While it’s clear from my Twitter feed and other sources that neither one of these outcomes is acceptable to the hardcore Republican base, it was clear by yesterday afternoon that agreeing to the Flake compromise was the most viable option available.

At the very least, this development gives critics of the manner in which this nomination was being railroaded through the Senate notwithstanding the mounting charges and questions that had arisen since Dr. Blasey Ford came forward in The Washington Post and set us down the course that led to yesterday. Throughout this time, Senate Democrats and others were demanding that the matter be put on hold until the F.B.I. could reopen the investigation and investigate the charges that have been leveled against Judge Kavanaugh regarding his character, his truthfulness, and his behavior. Initially I was skeptical of those calls because it didn’t seem clear what the Bureau could find after all this time, but as the charges mounted and the time went on it seemed clear that this, along with giving Dr. Blasey Ford and the other women the opportunity to be heard, was the absolute least that could be done considering that we’re talking about a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the fact that Kavanaugh could sit on the Court for the next thirty years, and the fact that he would be replacing a Justice who had been the Court’s center for the better part of the past two decades. In other words, my initial skepticism about an investigation was wrong, and I would note that the ironic thing about all of this is that an F.B.I. investigation could have been completed by now if it had been initiated soon after Dr. Blasey Ford came forward in the media.

One major question that this raises is what happens if it turns out that the investigators need more time to make their way though a proper investigation. Let’s say, for example, that the F.B.I. comes back next Wednesday or Thursday and says that they need more time to track down the leads they’ve come up with in order to be able to prepare a proper supplemental background check. Will Flake and those supporting him then press for an extension of time to allow the Bureau to complete their work? What if additional credible charges come out in the next several days, or are revealed during the course of the investigation? How would the President, the Judge, and Mitch McConnell react to developments like this? Most observers seem to think that the Bureau can easily complete an investigation of these charges and prepare a complete report within a week, but that’s by no means guaranteed. Given that, we could be revisiting this issue of a further delay in the vote before the end of next week. At that point, we’re one week close to the elections and the pressure on the Senate to act from the GOP base will be even greater.

In any case, it’s unclear exactly what will happen next, and much of it depends on the outcome of the Bureau’s investigation. Given the nature of the charges, it’s not at all likely that the investigation will be able to come up with a definitive answer to the question of exactly what happened in a house in Suburban Maryland in 1982, and it certainly isn’t likely to come up with sufficient evidence to cause the hardcore backers of Judge Kavanaugh to abandon him. At the same time, though, it’s possible that the investigation could uncover evidence that would tend to undercut Kavanaugh’s, or Ford’s, credibility in some respect and that could have an impact on the final vote. In the end, just as was the case yesterday morning, the fate of the nomination will largely rely on a handful of Senators — specifically Collins, Murkowski, Manchin, and Heidi Heitkamp — and we won’t know which way they’re leaning until the very end.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Supreme Court, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    In his statement Kavanaugh attacked the media, the left, democrats, and the clintons.

    That’s the kinda sober, neutral arbiter of the law you want on the really delicate questions.

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  2. Teve says:

    You know, if kavanaugh had said something like-

    “I honestly don’t remember anything like what Dr. Ford is claiming. I’ll be honest–I drank too much as a teenager, I was a lout, I was a jerk, and I probably physically imposed myself on girls, and I’m deeply ashamed of that. In my 20’s I realized what a jerkface douchenozzle I was and I worked to change my behavior, and I sincerely apologize to anyone I abused during my stupid boorish years.”

    -he’d have already been voted on the court. But once he chose to lie, he had to keep lying. He was shitty then, and he’s still shitty now.

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  3. grumpy realist says:

    OT, but this story about a bunch of doofs in Cornwall who painted a set of No Parking Lines UNDER a guy’s car while said guy was away on vacation is pretty Chicago-worthy. (We just have sleazoids who shorten yellow light cycles and who tag people who left their spots in time with parking tickets )

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  4. Kathy says:

    So the FBI investigation that couldn’t possibly be conducted two weeks ago because it would delay the process, will now take place and add a week’s delay to the process.

    I’m sure there are more credible ways of ramming an unpopular partisan judge through.

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  5. Teve says:

    GOP Claims Kavanaugh Shouldn’t Lose Appointment For Youthful Indiscretion Of Repeatedly Lying Under Oath https://trib.al/lgfM93m

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  6. MarkedMan says:

    Jeff Flake has behaved in an extremely predictable way. I give him credit for having slightly more character than the typical Republican Congress Critter but let’s not go overboard. Yesterday I said he would vote Kavanaugh out of Committee because of the following calculus:
    1) He wants to run in the 2020 primary against Trump
    2) His only path to victory is to attract the people who are personally disgusted with Trump but hold their nose and vote for him to secure Supreme Court Justices like Kavanaugh.
    3) If he votes against Kavanaugh that path is blocked off and his primary run is over before it is started. The Republican primary voters won’t support him and the party moneybags who have funded this Federalist initiative for decades will completely blackball him.

    So he voted him out of committee.

    But then the elevator happened. Once he saw that video he knew that even if he wins the primary he would never, ever be able to win the presidency, not with his Democratic opponent flooding the airwaves with him looking ashamed about his vote.

    So I assume he went to McConnell and said, I’ll vote against him on the floor unless there is an investigation. And McConnell must have counted heads and realized he didn’t have 50 votes.

    For the first time in this process I don’t know what Flake will do next. I think he has a wild hope that the investigation reveals something like a dead pool boy in Kavanaugh’s background, something so horrible he just withdraws and even the Republicans breathe a sigh of relief that it was found out before they had gone on record as voting for him. But that is almost certainly not going to happen.

    He has an incredibly tough row to hoe. If Kavanaugh makes it through he may be able to convince the the Republican Base that he did them all a favor because the Judge was exonerated by the investigation and no one can question Kavanaugh’s integrity again. But the Mercers, the Kochs and the other deep pockets won’t be fooled by that.

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Totally agree. It’s a sad day when a single Senator behaving with a bare minimum of integrity is hailed as a hero. We set the bar so low and yet so many pols manage to slither under it.

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  8. Tyrell says:

    Isn’t it great that there is nothing going on in the world right now? Like:
    No one having problems now from Hurricane Florence
    No people gone missing.
    No major accidents like plane crashes
    The middle east is fine and peaceful
    No earthquakes
    There are no shootings
    Opioids evidently not a problem now
    Just the right amount of rain around the country, no droughts

    The only thing going on it seems is the continuing problem of adults acting like little children

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:
    Yes, it’s funny how when 46% of the American electorate chooses to elect an ongoing train wreck, no one can look away.

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  10. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: We’ve just had a tsunami in Indonesia with a huge loss of life.

    But I guess that’s “nothing bad” in your life.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell: You are free to start your own blog to cover the things that need to be covered.

    Personally, I think it would be hysterical.

    “In my day, Lebanon was a peaceful, democratic country on the shores of the Mediterranean — don’t these suicide bombers realize they are just making things worse for everyone?”

    “What America needs now is more soda fountains, and fewer opioids.”

    “There are lots of help wanted signs on Main Street, but in my day people helped themselves.”

    “Has Hurricane Florence made the Carolinas a tourist destination like Florence Italy? Only time will tell!”

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  12. charon says:

    This “investigation” will be a sham. Per NBC News:

    WASHINGTON — The White House is limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, multiple people briefed on the matter told NBC News.

    While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s, those people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. A White House official confirmed that Swetnick’s claims will not be pursued as part of the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh.

    Instead of investigating Swetnick’s claims, the White House counsel’s office has given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview, according to several people who discussed the parameters on the condition of anonymity. They characterized the White House instructions as a significant constraint on the FBI investigation and caution that such a limited scope, while not unusual in normal circumstances, may make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.

    The limited scope seems to be at odds with what some members of the Senate judiciary seemed to expect when they agreed to give the FBI as much as a week to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh, a federal judge who grew up in the Washington DC area and attended an elite all-boys high school before going on to Yale.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna915061?__twitter_impression=true

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  13. charon says:

    @charon:

    FBI investigation is not the only way for truths to emerge. Things that come out after Kavanaugh is on SCOTUS maybe will be not so great for the GOP. Actions has consequences.

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  14. charon says:

    Some more details on the limits to the investigation. They seem severe enough to make the investigation pretty meaningless.

    Senators Flake, Collins and Murkowski must now decide whether they will allow themselves to be part of this fraud, or whether they will demand a real and unobstructed investigation in return for their potential votes. They, not the White House, hold the power here. It was they who set the original boundary of a week-long investigation, and they who can set the parameters of its scope.

    It is clear by now that Kavanaugh has lied throughout his testimony to the Judiciary Committee on matters both large and small. The preponderance of the evidence suggests that it would be very possible for a thorough investigation to nail down the exact date of a party attended by all the individuals described in Dr. Ford’s account. Even a casual investigation would likely be enough to prove that Kavanaugh did engage in drunken antics that he denies, instantly giving Ms. Ramirez far more credibility in the matter.

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  15. One American says:

    @Teve: at least he was honest, how dare he be upset at this dispicable clown show?

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  16. Kari Q says:

    While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick

    This is unacceptable.

    I’m not a fan of Avenatti, but if he has evidence he should present it immediately.

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  17. Kari Q says:

    @charon:

    It also makes you wonder what they are afraid the FBI will find if they are allowed to fully investigate. Maybe they know Swetnick is telling the truth.

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  18. One American says:

    @Kari Q: if we are to believe that creepy porn lawyer has something our FBI couldn’t find we may as well just shut down this whole crap show. 5 minutes of research on either one of them shows they are not credible.

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  19. Hal_10000 says:

    But then the elevator happened. Once he saw that video he knew that even if he wins the primary he would never, ever be able to win the presidency, not with his Democratic opponent flooding the airwaves with him looking ashamed about his vote.

    Yes. God Forbid we should allow that anyone on the other side have a change of heart or act on principle. No, it’s got to be some naked political calculation.

    The GOP base will be mad, but Flake just saved them. The week’s delay will not only give them political cover, it will protect them if anything else comes out and his nomination dies. Plus, they can blame it on an outgoing rogue Senator.

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  20. Kari Q says:

    @One American:

    our FBI couldn’t find

    You evidently didn’t pay attention.

    The FBI is not allowed to look into Swetnick’s claims.

    Whether they could verify those claims or not is irrelevant because they can’t look into them. This isn’t an investigation. It’s a coverup.

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  21. An Interested Party says:

    at least he was honest…

    Honest in his anger, yes….honest in his testimony, not so much…

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  22. One American says:

    @Kari Q: well that’s what was requested. So cover up I guess because surely that has not happened ever recently. I AM paying attention, but thanks. The conspiracy theory continues. Have a nice weekend.

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  23. One American says:

    @An Interested Party: Are you insinuating he is lying? Not the 35 year old all of the sudden accusers? Ridiculous! Embarrassing!

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  24. Kari Q says:

    @One American:

    No. What was requested was an FBI investigation into all the claims of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. The White House decided to exclude Swetnick and limit who the FBI could question. WSJ and NBC both reported that those were the orders given to the FBI, in contradiction to the agreement to investigate all current allegations.

    However, Trump’s tweet may remove this limitation, if the FBI can take it as an order. Yeah, really. He tweeted that he wanted the FBI to talk to anyone, in direct contradiction to the orders his own administration gave the FBI yesterday.

    God help us all. What a screwed up place we are in.

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  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @charon: This is just me being cynical, of course, but my money is on any investigation giving them the cover they need to vote yes will be deemed adequate to them. They still got a railroad to run and an agenda to ram through a politically altered court.

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  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: As much as I’d like to believe that Jeff Flake acts on principle, I haven’t seen any evidence of it during his star turn as “not running for reelection because he’s too maverickey the rednecks in Trump Central, Arizona won’t vote for him.”

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  27. One American says:

    @Kari Q: totally agree we are in a screwed up place. I do believe it was limited to existing credible accusations- apparently that includes drinking beer and being angry that your whole life is being dragged through the DC swamp. May the truth set us free.

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  28. charon says:

    Trump is now tweeting that NBC got story wrong and FBI can interview whoever.

    NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!

    I guess they realize they need to be a bit more subtle.

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  29. charon says:

    @charon:

    I assume this is a change in plan. Why? No way to tell, can only speculate.

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  30. Tyrell says:

    @grumpy realist: I mentioned earthquakes with the Indonesia quake in mind. I kept looking for coverage and most of the msn did not have it. CNN and BBC got it on. I got the first notice on Paul Begley You Tube. He carries a lot of latest earthquake and volcano news.
    I have also hoped to get more follow up coverage of the conditions down east from Hurricane Florence. Some towns are still closed off, schools are out, roads impassable. I went to local stations and called some hotels and rental agents in the areas down there (Wilmington, Conway, Dillon, Cheraw, Ruby).
    CNN has good tech and science coverage. They should stick to that and sports. The other day Ted Turner said that the news networks are now too political. I would add too obsessed with sensationalized prurient gossip, on a level with Springer.

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  31. charon says:
  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @One American: Remember the adage; “if the truth don’t set you free it’s because you ain’t got no freedom comin’.” I hope that your words are sincere; I believe you expect to be vindicated and will accept “we can only say ‘x'” as “see? I wuz completely rite all along! take that, libtards! we own you agin’!”

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  33. Gustopher says:

    @One American:

    Are you insinuating he is lying? Not the 35 year old all of the sudden accusers? Ridiculous! Embarrassing!

    We have no evidence that the accusers are lying.

    We know that he is lying about a lot of things — minor things, and easily checked things, relating to drinking age, and the meaning of things in his yearbook.

    And, if he is brazenly lying about the little things, not Not is that disqualifying, but it suggests he is lying about the big things.

    And, yes, it is embarrassing.

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  34. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “The only thing going on it seems is the continuing problem of adults acting like little children”

    Yes. Perhaps you could stop.

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  35. wr says:

    @One American: “that creepy porn lawyer”

    You know what makes you really credible? Parroting back Tucker Carlson’s slurs and pretending they’re your own.

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  36. Teve says:

    Since we’re calling people creepy, which is creepier-

    A) providing legal counsel for a porn star.

    B) banging that porn star unprotected while your wife has your newborn at home, then paying her to keep quiet.

    ?

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  37. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..CNN has good tech and science coverage. They should stick to that and sports.

    You should petition your Supreme Leader and Chairman of the REPUBLICAN Sex Workers Party Kim Jong Trump for the title
    Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
    Be sure you are “sitting up straight at attention” as Pud has demanded of you when he replies.

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  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Yes. God Forbid we should allow that anyone on the other side have a change of heart or act on principle. No, it’s got to be some naked political calculation.

    The GOP base will be mad, but Flake just saved them. The week’s delay will not only give them political cover, it will protect them if anything else comes out and his nomination dies. Plus, they can blame it on an outgoing rogue Senator.

    You do get the irony for riding me for impugning naked political calculation onto Flake, and then in the next sentence impugning naked political calculation onto all of his GOP compatriots?

    As I said, I think Flake has a bit more integrity than the average modern Republican Congress Critter. And probably a bit more than many Democrats. But no Senator survives very long if they don’t constantly run a spreadsheet of political calculation on just about every word that comes out of their mouth. If Flake was running for President for the noblest reasons in the world, he still might decide that losing that opportunity wasn’t worth dying on Kavanaugh hill.

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  39. One American says:

    @Gustopher: did you get a chance to check out her year book before it was scrubbed off the internet? I did and it ain’t pretty.

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  40. One American says:

    @wr: am I wrong? I don’t “parrot” if its not “credible” but yay go ahead and vote for that guy 2020.

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  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    And, if he is brazenly lying about the little things, not Not is that disqualifying,

    Actually, he was speaking under oath on Thursday, which renders those lies (however small) violations of 18 US § 1621. The man committed multiple instances of perjury. Federal felonies.

    It is grossly disqualifying for SCOTUS. Frankly, it’s also grounds for charging him, subjecting him to trial, and, if convicted, impeaching him and removing him from his current seat on the DC Circuit. He’s a stain on the integrity of the federal judiciary.

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