The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote tentatively for Friday, just a day after Congress hears from the woman accusing him of sexual assault.
Christine Blasey Ford will testify to the committee on Thursday about her claim that a drunk, 17-year-old Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party when they were both in high school in the early 1980s.
The committee has reached out to another woman, Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when she was intoxicated at a party during their freshman year at Yale University, but her lawyer said she does not have a further comment besides what she told The New Yorker in the Sunday story that broke the allegation.
Ford’s presence at Thursday’s hearing remains tenuous, however, as her lawyers have requested that senators, not criminal sex crimes prosecutors ask the questions. Ford originally asked that Kavanaugh testify prior to her testimony.
Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley wrote on Twitter that the committee is “still taking this one step at a time.”
“If we’re ready to vote, we will vote,” he said.
Judic Cmte noticed POTENTIAL exec mtg for Friday. Still taking this 1 step at a time. After hrg Dr Ford & Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony- if we‘re ready to vote, we will vote. If we aren’t ready, we won’t. Cmte rules normally require 3 days notice so we‘re following regular order
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 25, 2018
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he is confident Kavanaugh “will be confirmed in the very near future.”
“Even by the far Left’s standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low,” McConnell said in an incensed speech on the Senate floor Monday. “Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal, one of the Democrats on the committee, said the early scheduling of the vote demonstrates Republicans’ insincerity.
Scheduling a vote even before hearing Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony, Senate Republicans have demonstrated the disrespect & disregard that all too frequently shames & silences survivors from ever coming forward.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 25, 2018
“The message is clear: serious, credible allegations of sexual assault matter very little to my Republican colleagues when putting extremist ideologues on the federal bench,” Blumenthal wrote on Twitter. “This rush to judgment betrays any pretense of listening respectfully & honestly to a credible, courageous sexual assault survivor. It is an insult to the entire survivor community.”