BREAKING: Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote Delayed

UPDATE (2:05 pm): Senate Republicans have agreed to a one-week delay on a vote to confirm Kavanaugh so that an investigation can be conducted into sexual assault allegations.


UPDATE (12:39 pm): We appear to have us a stalemate:


UPDATE (12:30 pm): Today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines (11-10) to advance the SCOTUS nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the floor of the Senate. But there’s a YUGE “however” in this story, as the Washington Post explains:

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along partisan lines Friday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh after securing a key vote from Sen. Jeff Flake, who asked for a delay of up to a week before the full Senate votes.

Flake (R-Ariz.) said the delay would allow a limited FBI investigation of allegations of sexual assault while Kavanaugh was a teenager…

…Flake’s request cast doubt on whether the full Senate would take a procedural vote on Saturday, as previously announced, as other wavering lawmakers seem likely to join Flake.

CNN is reporting that Flake will vote NO on Kavanaugh’s confirmation if an FBI investigation into sexual assault claims is not authorized, though Flake has not directly said this himself. Flake has apparently made this clear, and as you can read from the 2:04 pm update, his maneuver worked.


Via The Washington Post (9/28/18)

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake took another break from pretending to oppose President Trump when he announced today that he will vote YES for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite, well, everything.

As the Washington Post reports, a full floor vote on Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS confirmation could come as soon as Tuesday. The Post lists Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia as unknown entities, along with Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Last night reports surfaced that Manchin, Collins, Murkowski and Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly would likely end up on the same side of the ledger eventually:

If this report is true, then Kavanaugh could be in trouble; Donnelly announced today that he is a NO vote on confirmation.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Well, Sen. John Kennedy got Judge Kavanaugh on record as not only swearing the witness oath at the beginning of the session, but swearing to God that the allegations were untrue.  Surely THAT ought to be convincing.


  2. Genghis says:

    Flake's giving himself, Murkowski and Collins cover to vote yes while maintaining the veneer of bipartisanship/objectivity. That way Kavanaugh gets a clean win (no Pence tiebreaker vote needed) regardless of whether or not Dem Senators Manchin and Heitkamp jump ship.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I don't know about bipartisanship but after getting a report from FBI, if it contains nothing more damaging than what is already out there, Flake et alia can claim objectivity and then vote to confirm.

      He may have spared his colleagues from making complete fools of themselves and ramming Kavanaugh's nomination through confirmation with the shadow if these allegations always hanging over him. (They will hang over him anyway but a non-damaging FBI report gives him and the GOP some plausible cover.)

      • itlduso says:

        Not much chance of a nondamaging FBI report.  When you see one mouse there are always others.

         I'm wondering what scenario is worse for GOP turnout – Kavanagh confirmed, or pulled and another nominee named prior to midterms?


        • Davie says:

          Especially if Mark Judge, who has agreed to cooperate with the FBI investigation confirms Kavanaugh's real life drinking was the inspiration for Bart O'Kavanaugh

          In the hearing Thursday, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, pressed Judge Kavanaugh about the “Bart O’Kavanaugh” passage. Mr. Kavanaugh said that the book was a “fictionalized” account and that only Mr. Judge could answer about his intention.

          • Genghis says:

            Judge is clearly a fragile flower who's very triggered by the prospect of testimony under oath and as a result has retreated to his safe space. It's possible that he'll say something damning in a face-to-face interview with FBI agents, which I imagine will be a bit more stressful than signing his name to a brief letter penned by his lawyer.

            But hey, if the investigation REALLY goes south for Kavanaugh, he'll just withdraw and return to his safe, comfy position on he D.C. Circuit, while the GOP worships him as a martyr.

            It's a win-win for the Flakes, Murkowskis and Collinses of the world, who either get to vote yes or don't have to vote at all.

            Trump then nominates Thomas Hardiman, which he should have done in the first place.

        • MADCO says:

          kinda depends on the 2nd choice


          Judge Moore?

          Michael Cohen?


          wait, who was that woman Bush wanted… Harriett Meir? or the one from Trump university who put up all those US Attorneys

  3. Gray in Mountains says:

    What a day. Historic. I was so busy at work I had no idea something so dramatic was happening.  I'll be catching up.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Wendy's Libtard Comix always comes through for me.

    For those of you of a more classical bent, there is

    Elisabetta Sirani. (1638-1665). Timoclea Kills Captain of Alexander the Great, Her Rapist, by Stuffing Him in Well.

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    On Saturday afternoon, there are dueling stories about what the White House has done (or not done) about limiting the investigation. General agreement is a limit to "credible claims" which apparently pull Blasey Ford and Ramirez in, leaves Sweatnick out.  Lots of dispute about whether the FBI will be limited to interviews with principle people, or if they will be allowed to pursue other evidence (e.g., Judge's employment records at Safeway). More dispute about whether ancillary people may be interviewed or not – especially about the Yale experience described by Ramirez.

    Lots of comments about how the White House is being too restrictive, thus having a "show" of an investigation. More comments on whether the FBI is being allowed to do what they want to do on the two claims that directly implicate Kavanaugh (which Sweatnick, as far as I've read, does not).  Some follow-up about what happens if the White House DOES have strict limits on it, and it doesn't agree with the expectations of Sen. Flake.


    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Why no interviewing Avanetti’s client? Have they given a reason?

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Speculation I've seen is that the background "re-opening" is limited to "credible accusations" against Kavanaugh.  The Avanetti client, Sweatnick, alleges rape but cannot identify Kavanaugh as one of the participants. She says there were other parties and other women who were incapacitated (though doesn't give names, dates or locations). She says Kavanaugh was standing with other men outside the doors (which is scarcely actionable).

    • mamajama55 says:

      If the FBI finds evidence of a crime, they will pursue it until it is resolved. The President cannot legally interfere because that would be obstruction of justice.

      The FBI may or may not be definitively able to prove or disprove any of the sexual assault allegations. But they can damn sure prove that Kavanaugh is a lying ass.

      For example, Kavanaugh's lying to the FBI repeatedly (on his background checks to be a Circuit judge) is a Federal crime, with plenty of evidence going back 12 years. He's also lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee, again, provably. The FBI investigates Federal crimes, and the President cannot limit the scope of those investigations.


      • JohnInDenver says:

        This is not a criminal investigation — it is specifically a re-opening of the background investigation.

        And as best I can figure, the "lying on a background investigation" is rarely pursued as a primary offense. If the feds are going after something else, the "false statements" will be an additional charge or the charge that emerges in a plea bargain.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Comey is optimistic about what the FBI can do in a week. And yes, there is still the possibility of criminal charges based on lying on background check. It will depend on where FBI chief Chris Wray wants to take it. By repute, Wray is a nonpartisan straight arrow who has defied Trump before.

          If perjury charges are not forthcoming now, those and more could proceed when Dems retake the House in November. Some Congresspeople are already looking to that possibility, if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

          If he is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn’t investigated, the House will have to,” the lawmaker, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said on “This Week.” “We would have to investigate any credible allegations, certainly of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked into before.”

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