In this judiciary hearings war of attrition, each side hoped to persuade a couple of Senators to break ranks from party lines. Reportedly, that has, in fact, happened.
Flake is a ‘yes’ But there’s a catch.
Flake met with the Democrats, and is ready to vote ‘yes’ on the moving the vote to the Floor — “But”.
He’s proposing that the FBI be given a week to look into allegations.
Grassley called a 2 hour recess…. story is still “developing”
Flake has announced he will be voting YES on confirming Kavanaugh in the committee vote.
The reason? He was looking to see if anything in yesterday’s hearing would add evidence to the allegations against Kavanaugh. Without evidence to support an accusation, he must accept the presumption of innocence of the accused.
We are still waiting to hear official statements from two other Republicans concerning their decisions in that final vote.
With a razor-thin majority in the Senate, their up-or-down vote could easily have gone either way. Now that the hearings have been held, there are early reports that some of those shaky votes are firming up.
In case you’re waking from a coma, and you missed the circus of yesterday’s hearings, here’s quick recap.
Dr. Ford was questioned first. While she didn’t manage to produce any new facts that would support her claims that the events she described were something she had suffered at the hands of a teenage Judge Kavanaugh, she was obviously distraught. Pundits and Twitter personas were largely left with the impression that she genuinely believed an event like the one she describes had happened to her.
But there were holes in her story, too. Like the one about the fact that she regularly, and the one about not knowing about the Senate’s offer to ‘Fly to her’ to discuss this ‘anywhere in the world’.
Now, to put the crux of the issue in terms that aren’t clouded by the particulars of this case: if a person is mugged, it’s one thing to convince authorities that someone took your wallet, but a much more difficult thing to convince them that ‘Jimmy did it’.
That brings us to Kavanaugh’s impassioned pleas. He made a 45-minute appeal in his own defense that specifically addressed many of the things raised against him. He held no ill-will toward Dr. Ford but maintained that whatever may have happened to her, it was emphatically not him that victimized her.
The vote begins soon.
On one side, the official question marks are Flake (Arizona), Murkowski (Alaska), and Collins (Maine). These have always been some of the shakiest votes on the Republican side.
The loss of any two of those votes would take Republicans below that razor-thin margin of victory.
That being said, the Democrats have some shaky votes of their own.
Senator Joe Manchin is already showing signs of leaning in favor of support.
And two other Democratic Senators looking for reelection in Red states face hard decisions.
Sen. John Cornyn, who as majority whip is the second-ranking GOP member in the chamber, expressed optimism following a Republican meeting Thursday night that Kavanaugh’s nomination will be favorably reported out of the committee on schedule.
Asked if he is confident that Kavanaugh can advance out of the committee, he said, “I am optimistic, yes.”
At least one long-undecided Republican senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee, announced his support for Kavanaugh just before 9 p.m. ET on Thursday night.
“While both individuals provided compelling testimony, nothing that has been presented corroborates the allegation,” Corker said in his announcement. “There is no question that Judge Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and in a different political environment, he would be confirmed overwhelmingly.”
This would mean there are enough votes to move the vote out of Committee to the Senate floor.
And as of this morning? Further signs of optimism.
Senator Cornyn is ‘optimistic’ after having some conversations with those who have not yet announced. And Lindsey Graham was on Fox this morning and said simply ‘We’re going to win’.
Do you share their optimism?
Were these hearings a net ‘win’ for the GOP?