Good morning fellow Seekers,
Here we go again. Another week and more delay tactics from the left to put a halt to anything that supports the POTUS’ agenda. Kavanaugh is one of the premier Constitutionalists of our generation, yet he gets the treatment of a common street thug vying for a second slice of bread in the prison chow-line. If the left had their way, that’s where he’d be no doubt.
Flake really screwed the pooch on this one. He claims that if he were running for re-election that he wouldn’t have called for the investigation. How the HELL does that make any sense?! Good riddance Mr. Flake. You won’t be missed.
Here’s more from Jonathan Easley and The Hill…
The Supreme Court begins its new term this morning but justices will be short-handed as President Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh remains in limbo ahead of what is certain to be another chaotic, angry and emotional week in Washington.
The explosive drama around Kavanaugh has gripped the nation, drawing in the #MeToo movement, the fight over a swing-vote on the Supreme Court during an election year and the politics of outrage that have been a defining characteristic of the Trump presidency.
A quick recap of where things stand ahead of a pivotal week in the Senate…
> Senate GOP leaders delayed a vote to end debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), who is not running for reelection, said he’d only move forward if the FBI conducted an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.
Flake asked for a one-week delay. The clock started ticking on Friday.
In a Sunday night interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Flake said there’s “not a chance” he would have called for the investigation if he were running for a second term.
“There’s no value to reaching across the aisle. There’s no currency for that anymore. There’s no incentive.” – Flake
> The FBI is conducting a background check, not a criminal investigation. Kavanaugh, an appellate court judge, has been through several of these already. The FBI cannot issue subpoenas or force witnesses to testify. It can only interview subjects and pass the information on to lawmakers, who have been conducting their own interviews.
The investigation appears limited to allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, who testified that Kavanaugh groped her and pinned her down at a high school party in 1982, and Deborah Ramirez, who claimed in a New Yorker article that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a Yale University party in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh vehemently denies allegations from both women. Late Sunday, The Washington Post obtained a memo authored by Rachel Mitchell, the lawyer Republicans tapped to question Ford at last week’s hearing, in which she details why she would not have brought criminal charges against Kavanaugh in that case.
The New York Times: How the FBI will investigate the Kavanaugh accusations.
CBS News: Why the FBI investigation can be conducted so quickly.
> The FBI does not appear to be investigating claims made by Julie Swetnick, who is represented by Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels. Swetnick has alleged that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present at nearly a dozen parties in the 1980s where she says she and her friends were the victims of “gang rape.”
Kavanaugh has called Swetnick’s allegations a “a joke” and “a farce.” Trump has attacked Avenatti, a Democrat who is considering running for president, as a “low life.”
> The scope and timing of the FBI probe has turned into a political fight.
Democrats, citing media reports like this one at NBC News, are claiming that the White House has interfered to keep some witnesses, such as Avenatti’s client, from being interviewed.
Reuters: FBI probe is next battle in war over Kavanaugh.
The Washington Post: Fight over Kavanaugh intensifies amid confusion over limits of FBI investigation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the White House on Sunday night asking they release the directive to the FBI.
“To limit the FBI as to the scope and who they’re going to question? That really — I want to use the word farce. But that’s not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct.” – Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who is on the Judiciary Committee, on ABC’s “This Week”
The investigation is said to be limited to the “current credible allegations” that existed against Kavanaugh as of last Friday. Avenatti’s injection into the process has added a political element to the fight. Many Republicans do not find Swetnick’s allegations to be credible.
> The White House is defending the veracity of the investigation, with Trump lashing out at Democrats over Twitter, saying that they’ve already made up their minds and that nothing will be good enough for them.
The president said over the weekend the FBI will have “free rein” and that investigators are free to speak with anyone they deem appropriate.
The Hill: White House defends FBI investigation into Kavanaugh.
At the same time, White House officials warned that the FBI investigation must not run too far afield.
“This cannot become a fishing expedition like the Democrats would like to see it be.” – White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on “Fox News Sunday”
James Comey: The FBI can do this.
Mark Penn: Polling shows FBI on the hot seat in Kavanaugh ordeal.
The swing senators
With only a 51-49 majority in the Senate, the GOP can afford to have one Republican vote against Kavanaugh.
Flake, who announced his support for Kavanaugh before successfully delaying the vote in a dramatic reversal on Friday, says he’s still a possible “yes.”
“I’m a conservative. He’s a conservative. I plan to support him unless [the FBI] turn up something — and they might.” – Flake to The Atlantic.
The midterm politics
The Kavanaugh nomination was never supposed to drag on this close to the midterm elections.
The drama provides new uncertainty for Republicans, who were already facing the possibility of losing their majority in the House.
The Memo: GOP risks disaster with Kavanaugh, midterms.
The New York Times: Kavanaugh could help Republicans keep the Senate. He all but ensures the GOP will lose the House.
Doug Schoen: Why the GOP is about to get killed over Kavanaugh.
Some Republicans insist that the controversy has awoken conservatives that might have otherwise stayed home. Josh Holmes, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), says that Republicans are newly energized by what they view as cruel and unjust treatment toward Kavanaugh.
Jonathan Allen: Kavanaugh fight shows Washington is sick.
Kaitlyn Buss: Guilt should not be tied to gender.
Rebecca Traister: Fury is a political weapon and women must wield it.
Jill Abramson: In elevator video, rape survivors show how democracy works.
Stella Morabito: Senate’s defamation of Kavanaugh is a threat to all Americans.
Peter Beinart: America is finally listening to women but the nation is in crisis.
James R. Copland: The farce and tragedy of the confirmation process.
Andrew Sullivan: Everyone lost in the Kavanaugh-Ford hearings
Ruth Marcus: What is a week’s delay compared to a lifetime on the Supreme Court?
Michael Goodwin: Kavanaugh hearing was a national disgrace. The worst is yet to come.
For more from TH click below…
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