After nearly nine hours of testimony and questions yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had heard enough from Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. The psychology professor said she was 100% sure that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. The Supreme Court nominee angrily denied the allegations, calling it a partisan “frenzy.”
President Donald Trump, who was watching the hearing aboard Air Force One, remains supportive of Kavanaugh:
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination at 9:30 a.m. today, and if he makes it out of committee, the full Senate could act as early as next week. Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander told Roll Call that Republican senators have been told to prepare for procedural votes on Saturday to allow a Monday cloture vote and a Tuesday confirmation vote.
Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate and can’t afford more than one defection to move the confirmation through without Democratic support.
Roll Call reports South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a message to his GOP colleagues during the hearing: “If you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.”
The New York Times says the most likely swing votes are undecided Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona — and one Democrat, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.
The American Bar Association, meanwhile, is recommending the FBI investigate Kavanaugh before his nomination moves any further, which Democrats have also been pushing for. Kavanaugh told the committee he would support a FBI investigation into the charges against him.
Two more women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault have come forward in the past week, but they are not scheduled to testify before the committee.