Brett Kavanaugh says he received’t let “false accusations drive me out of this course of” as he, U.S. President Donald Trump and high Republicans mount an aggressive drive to rally the general public and GOP senators behind his shaky Supreme Courtroom nomination.
Trump and Republican leaders accused Democrats on Monday of a smear marketing campaign through the use of accusations by two ladies of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh within the 1980s to strive scuttling his Senate affirmation.
There have been no instant indications that the emergence of a second accuser had fatally wounded Kavanaugh’s prospects, however the nominee took the weird step of defending himself in a tv interview that underscored the GOP’s new-found combativeness.
Kavanaugh, 53, stated on the conservative-friendly Fox Information Channel that he wasn’t questioning that his preliminary accuser, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, might have been sexually assaulted in her life. However he added, “What I do know is I’ve by no means sexually assaulted anybody,” a exceptional assertion for a nominee to the nation’s highest courtroom.
Kavanaugh’s TV look got here three days earlier than a vital Senate Judiciary Committee listening to at which he and his chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, have been slated to testify. That session loomed as a do-or-die wild card for Kavanaugh wherein a split-second facial features, a tear or a alternative of phrases might show decisive.
On Monday, Trump known as the accusations amongst “the only most unfair, unjust issues to occur to a candidate for something.” Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., angrily accused Democrats of slinging “all of the mud they may manufacture” and promised a full Senate vote quickly, however specified no date.
WATCH: ‘I’m not going anyplace’ — Kavanaugh responds to sexual assault allegations
Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer of New York retorted that if McConnell believed the allegations have been a smear, “why don’t you name for an FBI investigation?” He accused Republicans of “a rush job to keep away from the reality.”
The same wording and arguments that Republicans used urged a concerted effort to undermine the ladies’s claims and painting a picture of unity amongst GOP senators whereas urgent towards a affirmation vote.
Regardless of the forceful rhetoric by Kavanaugh and his GOP supporters, it remained unclear how three average Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Arizona’s Jeff Flake and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski – would react to the newest accusation. With the GOP’s Senate management hanging on a razor-thin 51-49 margin, defections by any two Republican senators would seal his destiny if all Democrats vote “no.”
Collins stated she remained undecided about Kavanaugh, a choose on the District of Columbia Circuit Courtroom of Appeals.
Continuing with Kavanaugh appears to offer Republicans their finest shot at filling the Supreme Courtroom emptiness – and giving the courtroom an more and more conservative tilt – earlier than November’s elections, when GOP Senate management is in play.
Even when Republicans lose their Senate majority, they may nonetheless have time to verify a nominee in a lame-duck session, however the GOP hasn’t indicated that’s into consideration. Delaying Kavanaugh’s affirmation might enable time for doubts about him to take root or any recent accusations to emerge.
Pushing ahead with Kavanaugh has its personal dangers, moreover an embarrassing defeat for Trump and the GOP. His nomination and the claims of sexual misconduct have stirred up ladies and liberal voters whose antipathy to Republicans has already been heightened by Trump’s insurance policies and his personal fraught historical past of alleged sexual transgressions.
WATCH: Brett Kavanaugh’s spouse says she ‘feels badly’ for Christine Blasey Ford, household
Through the Fox interview, Kavanaugh stated that whereas there have been highschool events with beer and he wasn’t excellent, “I’m a very good individual. I’ve led a very good life.” He stated he’d by no means accomplished something just like the episodes his accusers have described and stated he didn’t have sexual activity till “a few years” after highschool.
“I’m not going to let false accusations drive me out of this course of. I place confidence in God and I place confidence in the equity of the American individuals,” he stated.
On Sunday, The New Yorker journal reported that Deborah Ramirez described a 1980s, alcohol-heavy Yale dormitory celebration at which she stated Kavanaugh uncovered himself, positioned his penis in her face and brought on her to the touch it with out her consent. Ford has stated Kavanaugh tried eradicating her garments and coated her mouth to forestall screams after he pinned her on a mattress throughout a highschool celebration.
With growing depth, Republicans have attacked the credibility of Ford’s and now Ramirez’ accounts. They be aware that neither the accusers nor information organizations have discovered individuals prepared to offer corroboration, though each ladies have named individuals who they stated have been current on the alleged incidents.
Ramirez, who informed The New Yorker that she’d been consuming on the time, was initially reluctant to talk publicly “partly as a result of her recollections contained gaps,” the journal stated. After “six days of fastidiously assessing her recollections and consulting along with her lawyer,” she felt assured sufficient to go public, the report stated.
Dozens of individuals protesting Kavanaugh have been arrested outdoors Collins’ Capitol Hill workplace. Away from Washington, there have been walkouts in assist of Ford and Ramirez by dozens of liberal teams in a marketing campaign promoted on Twitter below the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors.
Additionally leaping into the fray was the lawyer who represents porn actress Stormy Daniels in her authorized struggle with Trump. Lawyer Michael Avenatti stated he was representing a girl with details about excessive school-era events attended by Kavanaugh and urged the Senate to analyze.