Cornyn: A Vote Against Kavanaugh ‘Will Be a Vote for the Shameful Intimidation Tactics’ of ‘An Orchestrated Smear Campaign’

By Melanie Arter | October 4, 2018 | 9:29pm EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Screenshot)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Thursday that the FBI report on the investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “did not corroborate any of the allegations.”

Furthermore, he said, it’s clear that there’s no pleasing the Democrats.

“What we know for sure is the FBI report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and the second thing we know for sure is that there’s no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats. They’ve always got a reason why the goal posts need to be moved further down the field, and nothing we could do would satisfy them. They’re dug in,” McConnell said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination should be set for Saturday. He said the judge’s confirmation vote is taking place three weeks longer than the last three Supreme Court nominees.

“This is the 87th day. That’s three weeks longer than the average of the last three of four nominees to the Supreme Court, so don’t tell me we haven’t spent enough time,” McConnell said.


“Also, I feel very good about where this nomination is right now. Now I don’t say that from the standpoint of counting votes. I say that from the standpoint of the qualifications of this candidate and the fact that those qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice based upon his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit without anybody finding any fault with his qualifications to serve there, but that hasn’t been talked about much,” he said.

“This person is very well qualified, a person that believes in the principles of due process, the presumption of innocence, and readiness to serve are recognized, so Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed on Saturday,” the senator said.

Grassley said Kavanaugh’s confirmation process “started downhill very quickly” around July 10 when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledged to do everything he could to stop his nomination. “And you can look back 87 days, and you can see that everything but whether he’s qualified to serve has been brought up.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) urged his colleagues to confirm Kavanaugh “right away.” He said Kavanaugh was one of the best nominees he’s seen since he’s been in the Senate.

“We have found nothing, absolutely nothing to corroborate accusations against him, and we need to confirm him right away. This confirmation will be a victory for the Senate as an institution, a reminder that the politics of baseless personal destruction has no place here. I think he’s one of the best nominees I’ve seen in my 42 years in the Senate, and I apologize to him for the way he’s been treated,” Hatch said.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) decried what he said was the “unacceptable character assassination” of Kavanaugh.

“If that’s the new normal, I don’t know who would want to serve, and frankly, people would be justified in losing any respect for the Senate and the way it conducts itself during the confirmation process, so more is at stake than just this nomination and the Supreme Court. The Senate itself is on trial here,” he said.

Cornyn warned that voting against Kavanaugh’s nomination would be “an endorsement of the mishandling of this confirmation process” as well as “a vote for abusing the confirmation process and a good person.”

“A vote against Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow will be an endorsement of the mishandling of this confirmation process, because of hiding relevant information that could have been examined on a bipartisan in a way that respected Dr. Ford’s request for privacy and gotten to the bottom of this as we’ve attempted to do now with 20 million people watching on television,” he said.

“A vote against Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow will be a vote for abusing the confirmation process and a good person, and it will be a vote for the shameful intimidation tactics that have been employed as part of an orchestrated smear campaign,” Cornyn added.


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