scandal

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

They May Not Like Him, but New Jersey Voters Aren’t Ditching Menendez, Yet
Republican Bob Hugin is spending big, forcing DSCC to invest in deep-blue state

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., speaks to the media at the 43rd annual Hispanic State Parade in North Bergen, N.J., on Sunday. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — Without mentioning him by name, Sen. Robert Menendez got in a dig at his opponent. 

Kicking off the 43rd annual Hispanic State Parade here Sunday, the New Jersey Democrat said he was happy to be here — “not for the first time, as some people are.”

Trump Keeps Rosenstein Despite Reported Recording, Removal Talk
‘I have a very good relationship’ with deputy AG, president says

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves the Capitol on May 19, 2017. He is still in his job despite reported remarks about secretly recording President Trump with the goal of removing him from office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rod Rosenstein, despite reports he discussed secretly taping President Donald Trump with the goal or removing him from office, is still the deputy attorney general after the two men spoke aboard Air Force One.

The senior Justice Department official joined Trump on the executive jet on the way to Orlando, where the president is addressing law enforcement officials. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters traveling with Trump that the duo talked for 30 minutes during the flight to Florida.

Capitol ink | Supreme Discord

Protesters Throw ‘Kegger’ at Mitch McConnell’s House Ahead of Kavanaugh Vote
‘I like beer, I like beer,’ group chants. Majority Leader stays inside.

Protesters throw a “kegger” outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house ahead of a Friday morning vote to limit debate on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Katherine Tully-McManus/CQ Roll Call)

They like beer, but they don’t like Brett.

Protesters threw a “kegger” outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Capitol Hill home Friday morning to show their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh Nomination Clears Key Hurdle, Final Vote Teed Up
Democrats turned confirmation process into ‘demolition derby,’ Sen. Grassley says

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 27. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Embattled federal judge Brett Kavanaugh moved one step closer to becoming the ninth Supreme Court justice and providing a decisive fifth conservative vote Friday when the Senate voted to tee up a final up-or-down vote.

In a vote that broke mostly along party lines after several deeply partisan weeks that culminated with a FBI investigation into sexual misconduct charges against Kavanaugh dating to his high school days, the chamber voted to end debate on his nomination, 51-49.

Trump to Senators: Ignore ‘Elevator Screamers’
President issues closing argument ahead of crucial vote on Brett Kavanaugh

Sens. Jeff Flake and Chris Coons head out of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Friday to discuss an FBI probe of sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh after Flake had been confronted by protesters on an elevator. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As a crucial Senate vote on his controversial Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared, President Donald Trump appeared to lobby undecided senators by casting two women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake last week as Democratic-funded “Troublemakers.”

Trump dubbed the women “very rude elevator screamers” and “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” referring to wealthy liberal donor George Soros. The president appeared to plead with GOP senators to not “fall for it!” He ended his tweet with “#Troublemakers.”

White House Puts ‘Fabergé Egg’ Ford in Frying Pan
Trump aides focus on Christine Blasey Ford’s ‘memory lapses,’ ‘factual inconsistencies’

President Trump heads for Marine One on the White House’s South Lawn on Monday. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Senior White House officials for two weeks treated Christine Blasey Ford, as one put it Wednesday, like a “Fabergé egg.” Then the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault found out that, eventually, everything for President Donald Trump is still all about his base.

At the White House on Wednesday, the focus was on attacking Ford. Aides discussed her “memory lapses” and “factual inconsistencies” as they tried to paint her as an unreliable witness or an untruthful one. They turned up the heat on vulnerable Democratic senators to focus on the “facts” rather than “emotions” of the situation as they decide how to vote; they also reminded them of pro-Kavanaugh polls that could influence their decision. And, in the form of none other than presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, who once said Ford deserved to be heard, Democrats were warned to avoid being “complicit” in a plan to “destroy” the nominee.

4 Takeaways as Kavanaugh Nomination — and Maybe an FBI Investigation — Moves Forward
‘You did a good job, Mr. President,’ critic-turned-amigo Graham says

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. After a spectacle Washington has not seen in years, the panel voted Friday to send his nomination to the chamber floor. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

ANALYSIS | Mercifully, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday ended two bruising days of testimony and arguing about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A party line vote sent the nomination to the Senate floor, the wreckage of over 13 hours of partisan brawling smoldering behind it.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, brought up Democrats’ disagreements with Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence. But Thursday and Friday were not about, as the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it, the nominee’s “philosophy of law.”

Amid Talks of FBI Investigation, Judiciary Committee Advances Kavanaugh Nomination
Flake joins other Republicans to set up floor vote despite call for delay

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., exits the Senate Judiciary meeting Friday on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Judiciary Committee, after a gut-wrenching spectacle of a hearing Thursday and last-second negotiations between Republican Jeff Flake and panel Democrats to delay a floor vote, advanced Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the chamber floor despite multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.

The Friday vote was along party lines, 11-10, with all Democrats voting against him after siding with Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the panel for four hours Thursday about her contention that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and intended to rape her in the early 1980s. She told the panel she came forward because she does not believe he should be a high court justice with a lifetime appointment.