Introductory statement by Senator Jeff Flake, during Judiciary Committee hearing, showed how the Senate is supposed to work:
"I think that we ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important." He said he supported an investigation that was "limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there."
If this author were a betting man, I would give two to one odds that Kavanaugh will pull his own nomination as early as Monday, especially if the bean counters and the vote counters in the Senate backrooms determine he will lose. Red State Democrats like Heitkamp aren't likely to vote for him now, I think, and I don't see how Manchin and Murkowski at this point can either.
How did it happen? Don't forget that Senator Flake earlier stated that he was retiring because nothing could get done in Washington these days, and that he couldn't work with Trump. Yet, later he said he would vote for Kavanaugh.
Then some women, including some victims of sexual abuse, got in his face in the Senate elevator: "Women confront Sen. Jeff Flake after he says he'll vote yes to Kavanaugh: "That's what you're 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."
See also this video: Tearful Woman confronts Jeff Flake in the Elevator click here
"What you are doing is allowing some one who actually violated a woman to sit in the Supreme Court," one woman shouted during a live CNN broadcast as Flake was making his way to the Judiciary Committee meeting. "This is horrible. You have children in your family. Think about them."
Some critics are justifiably skeptical about what Jeff Flake did yesterday. This flipped viewpoint, put forth here by Laughin Markay, White House reporter the Daily Beast, expresses the exact opposite of what I just espoused on Twitter, and I concede that this also could prove to be more accurate than what I postulated:
I think pro-Kavanaugh folks dumping on Flake are seriously underestimating how savvy a move that was. He basically neutered Ds' central talking point. If the FBI finds nothing new (as is likely), Collins, Murkowski, and Manchin are unquestionably more likely to vote yes.
Washington Post summed it all up very well:
The 11-to-10 committee vote came a day after hearing riveting testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused President Trump's nominee of sexual assault at a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s.
Following Flake's announcement, both Murkowski and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) indicated that they support his call for a delay."The American people have been pulled apart by this entire spectacle and we need to take time to address these claims independently, so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote," Manchin said in a statement. "It is what is right and fair for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people."
While the timing of the floor vote is up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he would advocate for Flake's request. "This is all a gentlemen's and women's agreement," Grassley said after the committee vote.
Speaking to reporters at the White House after the committee vote, Trump said he would defer to Senate leaders on how to proceed with his nominee. "Whatever they think is necessary is okay," Trump said. "They have to do what they think is right." He continued to stand by Kavanaugh, saying he had not thought "even a little bit" about a replacement but also said he found Ford a "credible witness."
See also: click here
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