Jeff Flake Takes a Shot at Kavanaugh: 'We Can't Have This on the Court'


Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake went against members of his own party in comments he made about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been the subject of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to his high school and college years — most of which have been uncorroborated and none of which have been proven.

Flake once again complained about partisanship in American politics, specifically as it relates to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as he told an audience in the nation’s capital this week that the politics of division has no place on the nation’s highest court.

Flake voted at the conclusion of last week’s Senate judiciary committee hearings to forward Kavanaugh’s nomination to a full Senate vote, but only on the condition of an FBI probe into allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against the judge that had been demanded by Democrats.

As The Hill reported, the Arizona Republican appeared with Sen. Chris Coons — a Democrat from Delaware who assisted in reaching Friday’s deal — at the Atlantic Festival on Tuesday.

“When I walked into that room on Friday and saw the food fight that was going on between our parties, just split on the dais, Democrats threatening to walk out and not even vote in the final vote, just going back and forth, this vitriol, that’s when I sat there and when I came to Chris,” claimed Flake, who appears to be attempting to position himself for a presidential run in 2020.

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He may, however, find that his position on the Kavanaugh investigation is anything but helpful to any White House aspirations he may have, according to GOP strategist David Carney.

According to Flake, Coons “gave a very sober, rational speech about how we could move forward,” explaining that the Democrat’s proposal for an FBI investigation resonated with him.

“I thought that’s what we’ve go to do, because the Supreme Court is still the last bastion, the last institution that most Americans have faith in,” he said.

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Continued politicization within the branch, however, will erode the public’s trust, Flake said.

“It is a concern,” Flake added. “I was very troubled by the tone of the remarks in the initial defense that Judge Kavanaugh gave.”

The response to Flake’s maneuvering among members of his own party was mixed, at best.

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Referring to the nominee’s opening statements, Flake said he hopes he would “sound that indignant” if he faced claims like the ones Kavanaugh bitterly disputed last week.

“But then it went on,” Flake said. “And the interaction with the (Senate Judiciary Committee) members was sharp and partisan. And that concerns me.”

He said he has been inclined to “give a little leeway” in his approach to Kavanaugh based on the toll this process has taken on his life.

“But then on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court,” Flake said.

Again, the Arizona senator appeared to be making few friends among Republicans.

“If Flake was accused of being a serial rapist, I’m confident that he too would deliver a passionate defense,” tweeted South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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