Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on Monday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will receive an up and down vote in the Senate.
"I want to make it perfectly clear, Mr. President, Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor. Up or down, on the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate, in the near future," McConnell said.
Kavanaugh has faced two allegations of sexual misconduct that, according to the accusers, occurred decades ago. Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh, then a junior in high school, attacked her when they were at a party in Maryland in the early 1980s. The other allegation is from a woman named Deborah Ramirez who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself at a dorm party during his freshmen year at Yale.
Neither allegation has been corroborated, and Kavanaugh has issued strong denials to both.
McConnell spoke out against Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats for obstructing and resisting Kavanaugh's nomination and using the allegations to "smear" Kavanaugh.
Before they reviewed a lick of evidence, before they heard a minute of testimony, Democrats had already made up their mind and chosen their tactics: delay, obstruct, and resist. Whatever it took, whatever the truth really was, they were going to do whatever they could to stop this qualified, experienced, and mainstream nominee. Democrats have signaled for months they would put on whatever performance the far-left special interest demanded and throw all the mud, all the mud, they could manufacture. It's not like they didn't warn us, but even by the far left's standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low.
McConnell also insinuated that a staffer leaked Ford's letter–in which Ford informed Democratic lawmakers of her allegation–at the last hour for political reasons.
Eight weeks ago, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee received a letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with an uncorroborated allegation of misconduct. She had requested the matter be handled discreetly and confidentially. The responsible next step would have been alerting the full committee so a confidential, bipartisan investigation could begin. Committee staff would have followed their standard practice for investigating background information. Senators could have questioned Judge Kavanaugh in their meetings or in closed session, while respecting Dr. Ford's request for confidentiality.
Oh, but Democrats didn't do any of that. They sat on Dr. Ford's letter for seven weeks. Seven weeks. Kept it secret. They did nothing. They bid their time, and then they threw professor Ford's wishes overboard and leaked it to the press. Our colleague from Delaware has himself indicated that either the ranking members' office or the Democratic committee staff likely leaked the document. As I've noted, we know the chain of custody of the letter went through the Democratic side of the Judiciary Committee.
The majority leader noted the unsubstantiated nature of the allegations against Kavanaugh. He said the committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), nevertheless responded properly–in contrast to Democratic senators–to the allegations when they first arose. He noted how, in response to Ford's allegation, the chairman began gathering the facts, conducted a transcribed interview with Kavanaugh, received statements from witnesses, and set up a hearing so that Ford could be heard.
"But the smear campaign didn't stop there," McConnell said in reference to the "dubious" allegation from Ramirez.
"Evidently several Democratic offices knew about this allegation for at least a week. But like with Dr. Ford's claim, they sat on this one too, so the committee could not take any proper action. They just wanted it to wind up in the press," McConnell said. "Another orchestrated, last-minute hit on the nominee."
At the end of his speech, McConnell took a jab at Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for insinuating Kavanaugh was guilty because of his "ideological agenda."
"They're the subject of smears, and facing Senate Democrats who say he has no presumption of innocence because they don't agree with his judicial philosophy," McConnell said.