Sen. Jeff Flake calls for a delay of full Senate vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate while proposing a delay of no more than one week before a full vote, so that the FBI can complete an investigation into allegations that Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI do an investigation, limited in time and scope, to the current allegations.,” Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said. “This country is being ripped apart here.”
President Donald Trump said he would defer to the Senate.
“I’m going to let the Senate handle that ... they’re very professional. I’m sure it will all be very good,” he said. “They have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves.”
He also called Dr. Blasey Ford “credible” and said she “looks like a very fine woman to me, a very fine woman.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham, who gave a fiery defense of Kavanaugh during the Thursday hearings, said Flake believes a delay would “alleviate” Democrats’ concerns with the process.
“That would be progress. Jeff is trying his best to bring the country together,” Graham said on CNN.
When asked by a reporter if he agreed with Flake’s proposal, Graham said, “Last time I looked you need 50 votes.”
Flake is one of four swing votes required for Kavanaugh to be confirmed.
In a statement released Friday morning, Flake had originally said he was confident enough to vote yes for Kavanaugh.
Flake’s previous statement read. “When Dr. Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh surfaced two weeks ago, I insisted that she be allowed to testify before the committee moved to a vote. Yesterday, we heard compelling testimony from Dr. Ford, as well as a persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh. I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s, but I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty.”
“What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well. I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”