Connect with us

Politics

Democrats score a win as Jeff Flake and other Republicans demand FBI investigation

Published

on


Sen. Jeff Flake
Sen. Jeff Flake
Pablo
Martinez Monsivais/AP


  • Democrats claimed something of a victory on Friday when Sen.
    Jeff Flake, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee,
    called for an FBI investigation
    into the allegations of
    sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett
    Kavanaugh.  
  • Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on Friday that her
    Republican colleague’s apparent about-face “was kind of a
    surprise to all of us.” 

Democrats claimed something of a victory on Friday when Sen. Jeff
Flake, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee,
called for an FBI investigation
into the allegations of
sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat on the committee who has emerged
as a key player in her party’s alliance with Flake, told
reporters after Friday morning’s hearing that her Republican
colleague’s apparent about-face “was kind of a surprise to all of
us.”

“Did we actually think this was going to happen today? No,”
Klobuchar said.

After deliberating with Democrats on the committee, Flake
announced that he wouldn’t vote to confirm Kavanaugh without a
week-long “pause” for an investigation, “limited in time and
scope,” in order to do “our due diligence.”

“We ought to do what we can to make sure we do all due diligence
with a nomination this important,” he said. “This country is
being ripped apart here.”

Democrats have aggressively pushed for an FBI investigation into
the allegations against Kavanaugh — making abundantly clear
during Thursday’s hearing that they believe the GOP is
deliberately “railroading” the confirmation process.

“You can do a lot if you have the whole FBI looking at things for
one week,” Klobuchar said Friday, adding that Flake believes the
process will help lessen the deep partisan divides over
Kavanaugh, who is the least popular Supreme Court nominee in
decades.

Flake’s Republican colleagues told reporters that they respect
Flake’s decision, but don’t believe the investigation will
imperil his vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“This is Jeff Flake, this is what I like about the guy,” said
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who delivered
one of the most impassioned defenses of Kavanaugh during
Thursday’s hearings, adding that he doesn’t think the
investigation will uncover any new evidence.

It is now up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ask
President Donald Trump to direct the FBI to reopen its background
investigation into Kavanaugh.

On Friday, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he’s
leaving the decision on how to proceed with the confirmation in
the hands of Senate Republicans. 

“Whatever they think is necessary is okay,” the president
said. “They have to do what they think is right.”


Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Andrew
Harnik/AP images


Klobuchar in the spotlight

Klobuchar’s exchange with Kavanaugh, during which she asked him
questions about claims that he drank to excess in high school and
college, was one of Thursday’s more remarkable.

The senator opened her questioning by noting that her own father
struggled with alcoholism for many years, and then asked if
“there was ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn’t
remember what happened, or part of what happened, the night
before?” 

But Kavanaugh tossed the question back to the senator. 

“You’re asking about black out — I don’t know, have you?” he
replied. 

Klobuchar repeated the question, to which Kavanaugh again refused
to respond and said, “I’m curious if you have.”

After a break in the hearing, Kavanaugh apologized to the
senator, who he said he had great “respect” for. 

“I’m sorry I did that — this is a tough process, I’m sorry about
that,” the judge said.  

Klobuchar accepted the apology, adding, “when you have a
parent that’s an alcoholic, you’re pretty careful about drinking”
and repeated her call to re-open the FBI background check
“to get to the bottom of the facts and the evidence.”

Read Business Insider’s full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh
hearing:

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending