Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voted to move Kavanaugh out of Committee on Friday but with a few conditions: the Senate floor vote would have to be delayed for up to one week so the FBI can investigate Christine Blasey Ford’s claims.
I’m simply stating the discussion that we had between us all is that I would hope and I think we had some agreement before that the Democrats who have been — I think — justifiably uncomfortable moving ahead, could publicly, in an effort to bring this country together, say that we would feel better…. I’m not expecting them to vote yes… but not to complain that an FBI investigation has not occurred. This is what I’m trying to do. This country is being ripped apart here. We’ve got to make sure that we do due diligence.
This morning, Flake announced he would vote “Yes” on Kavanaugh on the basis he deserved the presumption of innocence. Since both the judge and Dr. Ford delivered powerful testimonies on Thursday, Flake based his decision on the lack of corroborating evidence and witnesses to support Christine Blasey Ford’s claims.
However, after his statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats immediately cornered Flake in a last-ditch effort to persuade him. One of those was his long-time friend, Sen. Chris Coon (D-DE), who even began to tear up as Flake said he would be a “Yes” vote. By announcing his “Yes” vote for Kavanaugh on the condition that the floor vote be delayed for up to one week, it appears that Democrats successfully persuaded him.
In the end, Brett Kavanaugh did make it out of Committee on an 11-10 vote. Flake’s colleagues, however, pointed out that he is not the one who can decide if the vote can be delayed. That falls squarely into the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who could decide that is not the best option. Republicans fear that another delay will lead to another string of unsubstantiated allegations against Brett Kavanaugh that the media will undeniably pounce on at every opportunity.
NEW: Sen. Flake says he wouldn't feel "comfortable" moving forward with the vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the Senate floor "until the FBI has done more investigation than they have already." https://t.co/EGzKu6a7DQ pic.twitter.com/XPI3nhQI7V
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 28, 2018