In his typically portentous way, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has once again predicted that Donald Trump’s second SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh, will soon be sitting on the highest court in the land.
But there’s a catch.
Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s majority, who had been avidly working to confirm Kavanaugh, resigned because of his own sexual transgressions while working for the GOP majority in the North Carolina legislature (https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/09/22/gop-adviser-response-kavanaugh-accuser-quits-westwood-nr-vpx.cnn)
It gets better: yesterday, Ed Whelan, the president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank, laid out a scenario suggesting that Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is mistaken about the identity of the guy who tried to rape her in high school.
Whelan tweeted that a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Prep might be the man Ford has in mind.
But after his wild theory received widespread criticism, Whelan deleted those tweets, and tried to walk back the accusation yesterday (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/21/ed-whelan-tweets-220527).
So we sent associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith, who covers Congress for us, to talk with GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), as well as Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Joe Donnelly (Indiana) and Joe Mancin (West Virginia). Those three Dems are seeking re-election in states that Trump won by big majorities.
“Count me as a a No,” Murkowski and Collikns said in unison, after they read the above links.
Smith received the same response from Sens. Heitkamp, Donnelly, and Mancin, all of whom have been targeted for defeat by Trump.
Next, Smith visited Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), a frequent Trump critic, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), both of whom are leaving the Senate in despair over how Trump has captured their party. Both told Smith they’re voting no if Kavanaugh’s nomination makes it out of the Judiciary Committee.
That means that Kavanaugh, the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in thirty years (https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/22/politics/brett-kavanaugh-least-popular/index.html), is going down, 48-52.
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