Chuck Grassley accuses media of 'bias' in Brett Kavanaugh coverage

05 October, 2018, 13:29 | Author: Norman Carr
  • Chuck Grassley

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - a red state Democrat who had been an undecided vote - announced Thursday that she will oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already started a process that will produce a crucial test vote in his polarized chamber Friday on Kavanaugh's fate.

Top Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California didn't speak to reporters as she left the secure room where senators are viewing the report. He denies the allegations. Jeff Flake of Arizona - a key vote on the nomination - called for it with the backing of Republican Sens. Republicans have a narrow 51-49 Senate majority, and Vice President Mike Pence will be available to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Ford's attorneys said in a statement that they were "profoundly disappointed" in the probe.

Ahead of Friday's voting, Republicans emerged confident that an FBI investigation into the allegations unearthed no new corroborating details, they said. So all we know is what we've heard from senators and people at the White House who have seen it or been briefed on it.

"I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said", Kavanaugh wrote, framing his testimony as the result of his frustration with the process and his desire to clear his name after he had been accused of sexual assault - a charge which he categorically denied.

Several senators said 10 witnesses were interviewed for the report.

Other women have also come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, including Deborah Ramirez, who told The New Yorker that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party. Another Democratic Senator, Richard Blumenthal, told reporters it was a "whitewash". Mr Flake said he saw no additional corroborating information against Mr Kavanaugh, although he was "still reading" it.


Speaking Tuesday night at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, Trump attacked the credibility of Ford, who last week testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her during a high school party in Maryland more than 30 years ago. I don't remember. Where was the place? "They're so swamped", she said.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual abuse by three women, including Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last the week, saying she was 100 per cent sure that the Supreme Court nominee tried to rape her in 1982.

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.

"It's time to vote", he said.

Another undecided Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski, did not offer her view on the Federal Bureau of Investigation report.

"I am taking everything into account and I think the comments by the president yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate", Murkowski said. (Something similar happened with respect to Anita Hill's claims against Clarence Thomas.) Instead, they sat on the information and it was leaked at the 11th hour.

A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the White House viewed the inquiry as a supplemental background investigation, with its scope limited to the sex-assault allegations. Seven FBI investigations. So - what have we learned? Just a single copy of the report was produced, and that was not made public.

The 46 pages that the FBI compiled in its latest background investigation join some 1,500 pages amassed during six prior background checks, dating back to 1993, for the judge's extensive service in the government.

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