Continetti: Senate Swing Votes Will Vote on Kavanaugh Based on FBI Investigation Outcome


Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti said on Tuesday that the Senate swing votes, including Republican Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Susan Collins (Maine), will likely make their decision on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court based on the outcome of the latest FBI background investigation.

"What's relevant to the Republicans is Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez. For Collins, the Swetnick allegations, and so, those are the reasons that they requested the FBI investigation to begin with. It will be on their receipt of the FBI information regarding those three allegations that their vote depends," Continetti told MSNBC host Chuck Todd.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, including Christine Blasey Ford. who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Kavanaugh has categorically denied all accusations and called them "last minute smears" in an attempt to stall his confirmation further.

Five senators, three Republicans and two Democrats, are considered votes to watch. They include Flake, Murkowski, Collins, as well as Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.).

The latest FBI investigation–launched at the end of last week–into Kavanaugh and sexual misconduct allegations made against him is expected to wrap up sometime this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), has said that he expects there to be a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation in the coming days.

"The question they have to ask themselves is, ‘am I willing to stake my name that if I vote yes for him, that nothing else is going to happen that no shoe is going to drop,'" said guest Daniella Gibbs Leger, a vice president at the Center for American Progress.  "Let's say he gets confirmed and there's evidence of some inappropriate behavior, like, that is the calculus that someone like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, who allegedly care about their reputation, have to think about."

When asked about concerns that Kavanaugh was not completely honest about his drinking or entries in his high school yearbook, Continetti pointed out that Democrats had come out against Kavanaugh before these allegations were made against him.

"The Democrats are going to vote against him regardless," he said. "They announced their opposition when his name was announced. These arguments aren't compelling when it comes to the actual swing votes in the Senate."

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