McConnell Hammers Dems on Kavanaugh Nomination: ‘Their Goalposts Keep Shifting, but Their Goal Hasn’t Moved an Inch’

• October 1, 2018 6:11 pm


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Monday castigated how Democrats have handled the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and suggested they would not be satisfied once the FBI's investigation into the accusations is complete.

In late July, the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) received a confidential letter from Christine Blasey Ford, who wrote that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school—a claim that the judge denies. Feinstein did not mention the letter in any hearings with Kavanaugh, and its contents were later leaked to the press, leading Ford to reveal publicly her accusation.

"So we've learned that if you confide in Senate Democrats on highly sensitive personal matters, no request for confidentiality will keep you from becoming a household name," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "And if you're a nominee whose judicial philosophy Senate Democrats deem to be objectionable, no centuries-old standard of presumed innocence will protect your name, your family, or your reputation from irreparable damage."

Democratic senators such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY.) and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) have said there is no presumption of innocence for Kavanaugh.

McConnell also referenced a memo written by Rachel Mitchell, who heads the Special Victims Division in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee brought her in to question Ford. Mitchell concluded in her memo: "I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard."

"So will our Democratic colleagues listen to this expert opinion, although it conflicts with their political mission? Don't hold your breath," McConnell said. "Nor am I optimistic they will stay consistent and accept the conclusions of the supplemental background investigation the FBI is now conducting, on top of its six prior investigations of Judge Kavanaugh."

The FBI is currently conducting a supplemental investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump ordered the investigation hours after Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) requested to delay a Senate confirmation vote on the Supreme Court nominee to allow an FBI probe to take place.

"I'd bet almost anything that after it runs its course in the next few days, we will then be treated to a lecture that anything short of a totally unbounded fishing expedition of indefinite duration is too limited or too arbitrary or somehow insufficient. We all know that's coming," McConnell continued.

McConnell added that Democrats want to delay the confirmation vote past the midterm elections in November.

"In my judgment, the pattern of behavior we've seen confirms what Democrats' own public statements have told us," McConnell said. "They're committed to delaying, obstructing, and resisting this nomination with everything they've got. They just want to delay this matter past the election."

The Senate Majority leader made it clear that the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation this week.

"Their goalposts keep shifting, but their goal hasn't moved an inch, not an inch," McConnell said. "The goal has been the same all along. And so let me make it very clear: the time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh's nomination is out of committee. We're considering it here on the floor. And, Mr. President, we'll be voting this week."