McConnell Rips Dems for Seeing ‘Political Advantage’ in Release of Kavanaugh Allegations
Senate majority leader declared, 'We should not have gotten to this point in this manner at this time'
Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) lambasted his Democratic colleagues for seeing “a political advantage” in withholding the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the 11th hour of his confirmation process.
“This alleged incident is completely at variance with [Kavanaugh’s] entire life history. He welcomes the opportunity to address the committee about this claim,” McConnell said.
“But colleagues, we should not have gotten to this point in this manner at this time.”
“That this process has played out with so little order and so little sensitivity lies solely at the feet of Senate Democrats, who saw a political advantage in leaking this to the press instead of vetting it through proper channels,” McConnell added.
“But this is where we are.”
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace the outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in July.
But it wasn’t until Sunday that a woman publicly came forward via an article published in The Washington Post, claiming that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago at a party in Maryland, when they were teens in high school.
Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in northern California, stunned the nation and derailed the traditional Senate confirmation process when she came forward publicly after her anonymous allegations were leaked last week.
Ford detailed her allegations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) through her congresswoman, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), in July.
Feinstein has fielded backlash for her decision not to air Ford’s anonymous allegations until so late in the confirmation process.
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary initially was scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Thursday before sending the vote to the full Senate shortly after. But the initial vote has been delayed until after Kavanaugh and Ford testify publicly on September 24.
Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied Ford’s charge, calling it “a completely false allegation” because he has “never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone.”
“So on Monday, [Senate Committee on the Judiciary] Chairman [Chuck] Grassley (R-Iowa) and our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee will reconvene,” McConnell said. “They and the American people will hear testimony under oath.”
Trump came to Kavanaugh’s defense both Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s a terrible thing that took place, and it’s frankly a terrible thing that this information wasn’t given to us a long time ago, months ago when they got it,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “They could’ve done that instead of waiting until everything was finished and then all of a sudden spring it.”
“But that’s what the Democrats do. That’s what they do. It’s obstruction, resist, it’s whatever you have to do,” Trump added. “And when Sen. Feinstein had Judge Kavanaugh in her office for a long time, she never even mentioned this, and that was a long time ago. Never even mentioned it.”
Trump said the allegation and its timing are “unfortunate” because Kavanaugh is “an incredible man” with an “incredible intellect.”
“He will make an incredible Supreme Court justice, but we feel that we want to go through a process and we want to hear both sides,” Trump added.
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