I might have been too emotional at hearing, says Brett Kavanaugh

05 October, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Bruce West
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks with reporters on the from the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington

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 United States court.

While Republicans confidently declared that a week-long FBI investigation found nothing to corroborate the allegations against President Donald Trump's court pick, opposition Democrats assailed the latest FBI probe as "incomplete" and constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of the conservative 53-year-old judge.

In a final bid before the vote, anti-Kavanaugh protesters spent the night on Capitol grounds, egged on by Democrats.

However, Flake and Collins have sent positive signals for Kavanaugh's confirmation earlier on Thursday, hours after the FBI submitted a report to the Capitol on its investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations.

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.

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

In a hardening of battle lines, one of two vacillating Democrats - North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp - said she'd oppose the Supreme Court nominee.

Under new rules approved previous year, 50 votes are needed for victory in Friday's procedural vote.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has admitted to saying some things he should not have during a Senate hearing last week, a tacit acknowledgement of the questions being raised about his conduct and emotions as he seeks confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Among those not interviewed were Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the California college professor who testified last week to Congress that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students.

"We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on September 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land".

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he "might have been too emotional at times" in his testimony. He says he was, quote, "subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations" and that he, quote, "might have been too emotional at times" during his Senate hearing.

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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.

No Republicans have said they will vote against him, but all eyes will be on Flake, Collins, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Joe Manchin - all potential swing votes.

"Make no mistake, this investigation was rigged by the White House and Senate Republicans", said Sen.

Her powerful account, along with Kavanaugh's angry rebuttal, has divided the country, rekindling the national conversation on sexual misconduct and the burden of proof in the #MeToo era.

However, Dianne Feinstein, the most senior Democrat on the committee, criticised the scope of the probe, saying: "What I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what's not in it".

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.

Following the explosive hearing, moderate Republican Senator Jeff Flake broke ranks and called for a further, but "limited", FBI investigation.

The judge has vehemently denied all allegations against him.

However, lawyers for his first accuser, Prof Ford, said that she had not been contacted by the agency. It will rotate throughout the rest of the day Thursday and potentially into Friday, with staff members simultaneously briefing senators.

The judge says also said the high court "must never be viewed as a partisan institution".

BOOKER on Federal Bureau of Investigation report: "There is much in there that raises more questions" & there's "significant evidence" that "relevant witnesses" haven't been contacted.

Ford and Kavanaugh were not interviewed. Said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "The senators who requested the supplemental background check got what they requested, and I am ready to vote".

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