Sen. Jeff Flake plans to hold up President Trump’s judicial nominees until the Senate takes up a bill protecting Robert Mueller. The outgoing Arizona senator announced his new ultimatum on the Senate floor minutes after his attempt to pass the bill failed. The threat could block the Senate Judiciary Committee from approving any more judges this year. Flake and Democrat Sen. Chris Coons had worked together on the bill that would require good cause in order for Trump to fire Mueller, the special counsel running the Russia investigation.
MEANWHILE—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flat-out rejected Sen. Jeff Flake’s bill protecting Robert Mueller. While McConnell said he thinks the investigation should be allowed to be finished, he also said, “I don’t think any legislation’s necessary.”
CNBC’s John Harwood dispensed with whatever was left of his objectivity in a Twitter exchange over the weekend. When conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt mentioned an incident where Sen. Mitch McConnell was screamed at in a Louisville restaurant as an example of left-wing incivility, Harwood went on a tear, saying you can’t compare the two sides. The Democrats are simply different—better—than the GOP, Harwood replied while calling Hewitt’s assertion “100% bull***.” Asserting that the two parties are not the same in their behavior, values, or respect for facts and reason, Harwood overlooked many other incidents of liberal rage. Apparently, he forgot about last year’s attempted murder of GOP congressmen while insisting “both sides do it” rhetoric is dishonest.
—QUOTABLE: “Hugh that’s 100% bull***…the two parties are not the same…their behavior and values are not the same…their respect for facts and reason and honesty is not the same…compare Barack Obama and Donald Trump…it’s plain as day…a million “both sides do it” claims can’t make them the same because they’re not.” -Harwood tweet
—MEANWHILE: A gunman on Monday fired at least four shots into a Florida Republican Party field office. No one was hurt, but the bullets shattered the windows and lodged into the drywall inside. It’s the latest in a string of attacks and vandalism of GOP offices around the country. It also follows a week of political and religious violence.
Another day, another Republican confronted in a restaurant by unhinged liberal activists. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was shouted down at a Louisville restaurant Friday night by a protester yelling “why don’t you get out of here? Why don’t you leave the entire country,” and stating that McConnell’s views are killing people. Supporters and diners just trying to eat their food stepped in and escorted the man out. It’s not the first time something like that has happened to McConnell—earlier in the summer a throng of black-clad socialists followed him out of a restaurant shouting and saying “we know where you live.”
Mitch McConnell is calling for an investigation of whoever leaked the Ford letter. The Senate majority leader said on Saturday that the Judiciary Committee “out to take a look at” how the letter from Christine Blasey Ford accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 80s was leaked to the press. Ford had asked to remain confidential. That didn’t happen, the letter created a weeks-long circus, and Senate Republicans apparently want to get to the bottom of it.
—QUOTABLE: “I think it clearly was, honestly, a despicable thing to do to Dr. Ford…And it kind of underscored the tactics that have been used: It started in committee and then went straight out into the public.” -McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving ahead with a critical test vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. It will be on Friday morning at 10:30. The procedural vote will both pave the way for a final vote on whether to confirm the embattled SCOTUS nominee, and it will gauge support. Three Republican senators—Arizona’s Flake (Jeff), Maine’s Susan Collins, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski—are still very much in question, but statements by Collins and The Flake strongly point to their willingness to vote yes and stop this insanity from repeating itself. If Friday’s vote goes as planned, McConnell is likely to call for a final vote over the weekend.
As the FBI supplemental report made its way through the Senate and the potential end of a drama that has gripped the nation approaches Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the initial vote for today with the final roll call vote likely to take place on Saturday.
The nomination teeters on a thin 51-49 Republican Majority in the Senate. Should the vote end in a 50-50 tie Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.
McConnell’s had enough of the protests. The Senate majority leader angrily denounced “far-left protesters” trying to derail and delay the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. McConnell was talking about a spate of incidents like Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife getting mobbed out of a D.C. restaurant, posting GOP senators’ personal and contact information online, storming offices and crowding hallways in efforts to intimidate the Republicans into backing down. That’s not going to happen, they won’t be scared into backing down, the Kentucky Republican said.
—QUOTABLE: “We’ll not be intimidated by these people. there’s no chance in the world they’re going to scare us from doing our duty.” -McConnell
Attorneys for both Christine Blasey Ford and Debra Ramirez are questioning whether the FBI is being thorough in their supplemental investigation of Brett Kavanaugh as they claim they see no evidence that the FBI has reached out any of the witnesses they have named.
Attorneys for Ramirez doubt that the FBI is being allowed to conduct the investigation that it needs to. Insinuating that they are being dictated to by the Trump White House.
Sen Mitch McConnell R-KY, says the supplemental report would be finished Wednesday afternoon and that the report will be available for review shortly thereafter.
There is one copy of the report that will only be available to all 100 Senators and a handful of aides that will be delivered one by one to each Senate office, reviewed by the Senator than moved by courier to the next Senator. This is done to prevent leaks to the media.
Sen Chuck Schumer D-NY is demanding 24 hours after the report becomes available to hold the procedural vote the Senate floor.
McConnell has said the vote will take place after cloture either Friday or Saturday. Whether all Senators can review the document, which thought to be relatively short, can be done to meet that timeline is to be determined.
The FBI probe into Brett Kavanaugh’s background could wrap up as soon as today (Wednesday). The White House ordered an expanded background investigation after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full senate on the condition of a limited duration FBI probe on the heels of three completely unsubstantiated allegations. The White House on Monday expanded the background check, but reports on Tuesday confirmed the probe is moving along swiftly—that would allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold the final confirmation vote yet this week, as he’s signaled he wants to do.
The White House expanded an FBI investigation into allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The probe, ordered by President Trump as a condition for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to full senate, could wrap up as soon as Tuesday. But on Monday President Trump authorized the FBI to go beyond a narrow list of people it was ordered to talk to, on the condition that it still gets completed quickly. The expanded scope came after Sen. Amy Klobuchar complained that the White House was trying to “micromanage” the investigation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists the final confirmation vote will be held this week.
—QUOTABLE: “I think the FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer…Now with that being said, I’d like it go quickly…And the reason I’d like it to go quickly — very simple, so simple — because it’s unfair to [Kavanaugh] at this point.” -Trump
Mitch McConnell says the Senate will cast the Kavanaugh vote this week. The Senate Majority Leader on Monday made it clear he has no intention of delaying the confirmation vote on the full Senate floor any longer, despite objections by Democrats desperate to string out the process through the November midterms. The FBI is conducting an expanded investigation of Brett Kavanaugh’s background—the seventh such background check the SCOTUS nominee has gone through in his career. That probe is expected to wrap up yet this week.
—QUOTABLE: “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…We’ll be voting this week.” -McConnell
Mitch McConnell has had it. The Kentucky senator and Senate Majority Leader took to the senate floor on Monday and called the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh a smear campaign designed to character assassinate the Supreme Court nominee in the final moments of his confirmation process. About the latest accusation, where a Yale classmate claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her but provides no evidence whatsoever, McConnell blasted Dems for actively searching for people willing to lodge accusations, adding that even the New York Times passed on the story because there was absolutely no corroborating evidence. There will be a vote “in the near future,” McConnell promised.
—QUOTABLE: “Oh, but that hasn’t stopped Judiciary Committee Democrats from shoveling it onto their smear campaign and demanding for further delays…They just wanted it to wind up in the press. Another orchestrated last-minute hit on the nominee.” -Mitch McConnell on multiple media outlets passing on the latest story