When it comes to a vote on confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the time for games is over, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared from the Senate floor on Monday.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is out of committee. We are considering it here on the floor. And we’ll be voting this week,” said the Kentucky Republican, according to a text of his remarks issued by his website.
Reminding senators that “character assassination and uncorroborated allegations” were a hallmark of the communist hunts from the McCarthy era of the 1950s, McConnell excoriated Democrats for making the Kavanaugh confirmation process an exercise in politics.
“Democrats have made no real attempt to disguise that this was a pure partisan calculation for them from the very beginning,” he said, adding, “And they didn’t mince words: The way one Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee put it, supporters of Judge Kavanaugh are — quote – ‘complicit in the evil.’ That’s a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee.”
During his speech, McConnell flayed Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for having communicated with Christine Blasey Ford in July but then keeping quiet about Ford’s claims of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh until Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were all but over.
The whole speech is below, but McConnell’s scathing, sarcastic, and unambiguous conclusion starts about the 15-minute mark.
“As best we can tell, the Democrats chose to keep this allegation secret, rather than investigating in a bipartisan and timely way. In fact, they held it in reserve,” he said.
McConnell also scolded Democrats for leaking the letter in which Ford asked for her name to be kept private, and apparently not telling Ford about the Judiciary Committee’s offer to come to California to meet with her.
“So we have learned that, if you confide in Senate Democrats on a highly sensitive personal matter, no request for confidentiality will keep you from becoming a household name. And if you’re a nominee whose judicial philosophy Senate Democrats deem to be objectionable, no centuries-old standard of presumed innocence will protect your name, your family, or your reputation from irreparable damage,” he said.
McConnell then noted that prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, a Maricopa County, Arizona, sex crimes expert retained by the committee, said Ford’s complaint does not meet any legal standard to charge Kavanaugh.
“Will our Democratic colleagues listen to this expert opinion, although it conflicts with their political mission? Don’t hold your breath,” he said.
McConnell then predicted what will happen when the one-week FBI investigation of Kavanaugh fails to find anything incriminating.
“… We will then be treated to a lecture that anything short of a totally unbounded fishing expedition of indefinite duration is too limited, or too arbitrary, or somehow insufficient. We all know that’s coming,” he said.
“If you listen carefully, you can practically hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goalposts,” he said, citing a litany of Democrats’ complaints about the process. “Well, let me go way out on a limb. Let me make a small prediction. Soon enough, the goalposts will be on the move once again. I would respectfully say to my colleagues: Do these actions suggest this has ever been about finding the truth? Does anybody believe that? Do these actions suggest this has ever been about giving Judge Kavanaugh a fair hearing?
“Their goalposts keep shifting — but their goal has not moved an inch. The goal’s been the same all along. And so the time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close,” McConnell said before announcing that the vote would be held this week.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sought to put a condition before any vote.
The New York Democrats said it is vital that the FBI investigation be “fair, clean and not constrained particularly by partisan means.”
“For that reason, we hope the FBI will be available to brief the Senate on the results of the investigation before a final floor vote,” Schumer said, according to The Hill.
Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican and member of the Judiciary Committee, backed up McConnell.
“If you think this is a search for the truth, you probably ought to put down the bong,” Kennedy told Fox News on Monday. “This entire thing makes me want to heave. It could be a series on Netflix. You could call it, ‘As The Stomach Turns.'”
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