Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is underway. Kavanaugh passed to the Senate with a recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday.
But there was a major, last minute twist — and it left California Sen. Dianne Feinstein shouting, “What!?”
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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake made an 11th-hour deal with Democrats to call for an FBI investigation into the accusations of Dr. Christine Blasely Ford.
Flake announced nothing would happen with Kavanaugh’s nomination stuck at the Senate Judiciary Commitee, and quickly voted with Republicans to recommend Kavanaugh to the Senate.
But the Arizona Republican shocked the room when he announced he will not vote for Kavanaugh’s final confirmation without a limited investigation by the FBI into Ford’s accusations.
Republicans feared leaving Kavanaugh’s nomination open would allow a tidal wave of last-minute accusations, like those of porn lawyer Michael Avenatti.
Flake has asked for a limited investigation to focus solely on those of Ford, who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago. He said he would only delay his vote on Kavanaugh for a week at most, which would give ample time for authorities to investigate.
“I think we can have a short pause so the FBI can investigate,” he said. “I encourage the Democrats to endorse that thing so we can move on.”
The stunning turn of events had senators on both sides of the aisle struggling to keep up. When Sen. Chuck Grassley, the senior member of the committee, called for a vote the Democrats were left scrambling.
11 Republicans voted “yes” to move Kavanaugh to the Senate floor. 10 Democrats voted “no.”
Then, Grassley ruled that the two hour window for operating the committee had expired and quickly adjourned the hearing, and Feinstein was heard exclaiming, “What!?”
The move effectively blocks all other accusations from interfering with Kavanaugh’s nomination, while satisfying Democrats demands for an FBI investigation.
It’s a shocking 11th-hour deal that will leave Kavanaugh supporters reeling — but at least his confirmation hearing has moved forward.
— The Horn editorial team