McConnell calls opposition to Kavanaugh a ‘great political gift’ to Republicans

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Two other women also accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct decades ago.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".

Kavanaugh's confirmation leaves the Senate traumatized with Republicans and Democrats as estranged as at any time in recent memory, reflecting the cavernous divides in the country itself during a presidency that has ignited rare political passions.

Kavanaugh's opponents raised concerns that he'd push the court further right, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump. A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, followed, claiming Kavanaugh was involved in a gang-rape ring in high school.

Trump, throughout the day, insisted Kavanagh would not be tainted by the sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and others that almost tanked his nomination. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks towards to the Senate chamber to listen to Sen.

"Republicans are saying: 'Your voices just don't matter, '" Sen. "Your experiences, your trauma, your pain, your heartache, your anger - none of that matters". "And that's what I want to share, that we care". "Sit down and be quiet'".

She explained her courtesy "present" vote for Daines, saying that she hopes "it reminds us that we can take very small, very small steps to be gracious with one another, and maybe those small gracious steps can lead to more". Hundreds of other demonstrators watched from behind barricades. Now, if we want to look at all the things that went wrong in this process, there are many.

A final vote has been set for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. In a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, the Republican from ME ended speculation that she would dissent from the rest of her party and block the nomination. The roll call was ending a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and Trump's unyielding support of his nominee.

Republicans "conducted one of the least transparent, least fair, most biased processes in Senate history, slanting the table from the very beginning to produce their desired result", he added.

The texts are a conversation between Kathy Charlton and a mutual friend of Kavanaugh's who, NBC has confirmed, was identified to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Ramirez as an eyewitness to the incident.

It was the closest roll call to confirm a justice since 1881, when Stanley Matthews was approved 24-23, according to Senate records.




Ford's attorney Debra Katz tells CNN's Dana Bash in an interview that Ford only wanted to tell her story to Senate Judiciary Committee members.

"They managed to deliver the only thing we had not been able to figure out how to do, which is to get our folks fired up", McConnell said.

The announcements Friday by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia came after weeks of shocking accusations, hardball politics and Capitol protests.

Mr Manchin faces extraordinary political pressure.

Here's what she tells reporters traveling with her in Egypt: "I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court".

The first lady also would not say if she believed Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh.

While the images posted online appear to be from anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Trump took to Twitter to state that "women for Kavanaugh" are turning out to support "this very good man". Senators often partner like that to allow an absence without affecting the outcome.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he'd vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes".

Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed.

Based on the initial votes, Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed for the lifetime appointment after final votes are cast on Saturday. Still, Collins said, the allegations "fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", and "I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".

His ascent to the Supreme Court was thrown into doubt last week after university research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified that he had sexually assaulted her at a Washington area party in the early 1980s.

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