Senate Republicans want to press forward with a vote on Friday on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, after a marathon Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring emotional testimony from the nominee and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.
Soon after the Judiciary Committee wrapped up for the day, key swing voters huddled with GOP leaders to discuss the way forward: Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and one Democrat, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.
“I would be surprised if things didn’t move forward,” Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., will be one of many committee Democrats who will ask for a delay in the vote so that the FBI can look into these allegations. In the committee process, Coons said, “there is vigorous dispute between the majority and minority about who cooperated with whom, who went off on their own, who failed to participate.”
“I think we owe it to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, to the reputation of Judge Kavanaugh, and most importantly to a number of women who have come forward with alarming allegations, to actually investigate them thoroughly rather than a one-day hearing with only two sworn witnesses,” Coons said.
Manchin said, “There’s talk and we’re still talking. There’s no decisions made on anything I can tell you that. There are still some concerns that people have and we’re going to try and close the loop.”
Patrick Kelley, Niels Lesniewski, Todd Ruger and Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.