Kavanaugh Nomination Advances to Senate

Sep 28, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 along party lines today regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to advance the nomination to the full Senate.

The Senate will hold a procedural vote around noon on Saturday for Kavanaugh's nomination. That needs to pass with 51 votes and Vice President Mike Pence could break any tie.

After Kavanaugh passes Saturday’s vote, the Senate will vote on cloture, a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote, on Monday. The final vote regarding Judge Kavanaugh could occur next Tuesday or Wednesday. Judge Kavanaugh could join the Supreme Court before the end of next week.

Even though Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voted to move the nomination to the full Senate, he met with the Senate Democrats moments before the vote and agreed to recommend a week delay to have an FBI investigation before the vote by the full Senate. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-TN) said that whether the Senate would delay the vote by a week is not up to the Judiciary Committee but up to the Senate leadership. However, if Flake makes his vote contingent on a week delay, there may not be enough votes to confirm Kavanaugh. The split between Senate Republicans and Democrats is 51-49, meaning that the Republicans could only lose one vote and have Vice President Pence to break a tie.

The nomination will go to the full Senate, but it is yet to be determined whether Senator McConnell will delay the vote.

“This is maddening. The Democrats have no interest in the truth. They only want to delay the vote,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “I predict that further investigation by the FBI will not support Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I also predict that Senate Democrats will try to fabricate new allegations to continue to delay. The Senate Democrats have made this nomination process a disgrace. They are not interested in the truth and have attempted to destroy Judge Kavanaugh to stop his confirmation. The damage inflicted on the nomination process and the Kavanaugh family is incalculable. Judge Kavanaugh is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. It is time to complete this process and move forward,” said Staver.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday in which Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testified regarding Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party while in high school 36-years ago. Ford’s testimony has been undermined because all four alleged witnesses have denied such a party occurred. Kavanaugh adamantly denied all the allegations and called the process a “national disgrace.” Senator Lindsey Graham used his time to issue a powerful statement, saying that the Democrats were not interested in the truth and he was ashamed of how they were trying to destroy Judge Kavanaugh. He said, “This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics. To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you are legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.” Graham turned to Kavanaugh and said, “I hope you're on the Supreme Court. That's exactly where you should be. And I hope that the American people will see through this charade.”

Rachel Mitchell, the sex-crimes prosecutor Republicans hired to question Kavanaugh and Ford at Thursday's hearing, spoke at an overnight meeting where all 51 Republican senators were present. Mitchell told senators that the case would not hold up in a courtroom. She would not charge Kavanaugh and would not even seek a search warrant.

Ford first alerted the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee of her allegations in a letter dated July 30, 2018. In Ford’s letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, she originally had the date of the allegation as “in the early 1980’s” but then changed her story to 1982.

The ranking member did not disclose the existence of this letter to the Committee or the FBI until September 13, 2018 which was after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and a full six weeks after she first received them. 

The Committee became aware of the substance of the allegations in media reports the next day.  The Committee also learned from press reports that Ford also claimed that Mark Judge had been in the room when the incident allegedly took place.  Judge denied those allegations in interviews with the press, and Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegations in a written statement.

The Committee learned of Ford’s identity in a Washington Post article on September 16, 2018. The Washington Post article reiterated the claim that Kavanaugh and Judge were both in the room when the alleged incident took place. We also learned that Ford alleged that “there were four boys at the party” and that her therapist’s notes referenced in the article also stated that there were four boys at the party (and in the room where the assault took place). Ford also “named two other teenagers who she said were at the party” in addition to Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge. The article claimed that those two other individuals did not respond to the Washington Post’s inquiries.

The Committee did not learn of the actual contents of the letter until CNN published a redacted version on September 17. It is unknown who leaked this letter to the press, notwithstanding Ford’s request for confidentiality.  Despite revelations of Ford’s identity, the ranking member and Ford’s attorneys to this date had not publicly released a copy of the original version of the letter or shared it more broadly than the 21 members and senior staff of the Judiciary Committee. The chairman had repeatedly called for the public release of this hidden evidence.

In the course of the Committee’s investigation, it also learned the identities of the four other individuals Ford claimed were at the party when the incident took place. They were not, however, all boys, as Ford apparently told her therapist and the Washington Post. The four individuals Ford claimed attended the party were Judge Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, Patrick J. Smyth, and Leland Ingham Keyser.  The Committee reached out to each person and asked for the opportunity to conduct a confidential interview. All have publicly denied these allegations. Kavanaugh submitted his letter to the Committee denying the allegations and submitted to an interview, where he reiterated his denial of Ford’s allegations. Judge submitted to the Committee a statement through counsel on September 18 in which he stated: “I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.” Smyth similarly provided a statement to the Committee through counsel on September 19 in which he said, “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.” Keyser stated to the Committee through her counsel last night that she “does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with or without Dr. Ford.”

Christina King Miranda, a former schoolmate of Ford’s, claimed on social media posts on September 20 that “[t]his incident did happen, many of us heard about it in school.” Hours later, the Committee reached out to Miranda and asked her to participate in a confidential interview on Ford’s allegations with Committee investigators. Soon she deleted her posts and claimed on National Public Radio that she “ha[d] no idea” whether the incident “happened or not.” She further stated that she would not participate in an interview with the Committee.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.