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Brett Kavanaugh vote process rushed by Republicans, Democrats charge

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Sen. Cory Booker demonstrates with Sen. Gillibrand at the Supreme Court.
Sen.
Cory Booker demonstrates with Sen. Gillibrand at the Supreme
Court.

J. Scott
Applewhite/AP


  • Some prominent Democrats are accusing Republicans of pushing
    to expedite the timeline for a confirmation vote on Brett
    Kavanaugh even after they knew of a then-secret allegation of
    sexual misconduct against the judge last week.
  • The development comes after The New Yorker on Sunday night
    published details of an allegation of sexual misconduct against
    Kavanaugh by his former Yale University classmate, Deborah
    Ramirez. 
  • “Senate Republicans were trying to rush a vote while they
    knew Deborah Ramirez would come forward with her story,” Sen.
    Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said Sunday night. 

Some prominent Democrats accused Republicans of pushing to
expedite the timeline for a confirmation vote on Supreme Court
nominee Brett Kavanaugh even after they learned last week of a
then-secret allegation of sexual misconduct against
Kavanaugh. 

On Sunday evening,
The New Yorker published a report
detailing a second sexual
misconduct claim against Kavanaugh, this one made by the judge’s
former Yale University classmate, Deborah Ramirez. She says
Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and thrust his genitals in her
face without her consent at a dorm-room party during the 1983-84
school year.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand accused Republican leaders of
attempting to “rush a vote” on the nominee even after they knew
of the second then-secret allegation. 

“Senate Republicans were trying to rush a vote while they knew
Deborah Ramirez would come forward with her story,” the senator
tweeted
on Sunday night
. “They deny Dr. Ford an FBI investigation,
won’t subpoena corroborating witnesses, and now, this. It’s an
embarrassment. They have absolutely no interest in the truth.”

The New Yorker piece, written by veteran investigative reporters
Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, asserted that staffers for some
senior GOP Senate staffers and at least four Democratic senators
learned of Ramirez’s allegation last week. While at least
two Democratic senators soon initiated investigations into
Ramirez’s allegations, Republicans continued to press for a
committee vote on Kavanaugh.  

But some Republicans, including Judiciary Committee Chairman
Chuck Grassley, claimed not to have known about the newest charge
until it was published on Sunday evening. 

“A Grassley aide tells me the majority Republican staff learned
about Ramirez’s allegations from Sunday evening’s New Yorker
story,” The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim
tweeted
Sunday night. “Neither Ramirez nor her attorney have
contacted the chairman’s office, the aide said, adding Dems never
informed the GOP staff of these allegations.

Spokesmen for Sens. Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, and Mike Lee —
all Republicans — also
told The Post
they did not know of the allegations before the
New Yorker report.

But top Senate Republicans have joined the president and
Kavanaugh in characterizing the allegations as a Democratic
“smear campaign” and are continuing to call for a speedy
vote. 

“Democrats won’t let a complete lack of evidence get between them
and a good smear. It’s despicable,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell
said Monday

“We should hear from Dr. Ford on Thursday as planned,” Hatch, a
member of the Judiciary Committee said in a statement. “Then we
should vote.”

The developments come days before scheduled testimony from
Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that Kavanaugh
forced himself on her, locked her in a room, groped her, and
covered her mouth to mask her screams during a drunken house
party when she was 15 and he was 17.

In the wake of Ramirez’s allegation, Democrats led by the
Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein are
calling on Grassley to
postpone all further confirmation proceedings
and join them
in pressuring the White House to direct the FBI to investigate
both Ford and Ramirez’s claims. 

Sen. Mazie Hirono accused the
Judiciary Committee’s 11 Republicans of “treating this like
a hostage situation.”

“What are they afraid of?” she asked. 

Kavanaugh, who has denied both Ford and Ramirez’s allegations,
remained defiant on Monday, writing in a
letter to the Judiciary Committee
on Monday that the claims
are “smears, pure and simple” and “grotesque and obvious
character assassination.” 

“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,”
he wrote. “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will
not drive me out.”

Trump simultaneously dug in, calling the sexual misconduct
allegations “totally political” and telling reporters that
Kavanaugh is “a man with an unblemished past.” 

“There’s a chance that this could be one of the single most
unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything,”
Trump said. 

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