Holy Moly! Here’s a surprise from none-other than President Trump and it’s potentially good news for Democrats and people interested in seeing the facts come out regarding the sexual assault accusations by Dr. Christne Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh:
President Donald Trump, moments after the Senate committee vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, said he would defer to the Senate on whether to open a probe – requested by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake – by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into Judge Kavanaugh and delay a floor vote on his confirmation, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Trump praised the testimony of both Mr. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s. Mr. Trump called Dr. Ford a “very fine woman” and a “very credible witness” and described the nominee’s testimony as “incredible” and “something I hadn’t seen before.”
OK, Mitch McConnell, your move.
Meanwhile, here’s what HuffPost is reporting about the events that led up to the surprise event today in the Senate:
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, one day after testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.
The full Senate could vote as soon as Saturday to proceed with Kavanaugh’s nomination, and a final vote may come next week. It was unclear, however, whether that timeline would hold. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sought a one-week delay in the vote for an FBI investigation into sexual assault claims that have been made against Kavanaugh.
Flake’s demand came after a dramatic series of events, culminating in talks between Flake and Democrats in a room adjacent to the committee hearing room, creating much confusion and speculation ahead of the committee’s scheduled 1:30 p.m. vote.
As Flake huddled with Democratic senators, including his friend Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), it seemed that no one ― not even committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Ariz.) ― knew what Flake was up to.
WATCH LIVE COVERAGE OF THE KAVANAUGH HEARING:
In the end, Flake voted with other Republicans in the 11-10 party-line vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination without any assurances that the FBI investigation would happen.
“I can’t even. I don’t know. I don’t know how to react to that,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said following the vote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) the ranking Democrat on the committee, refused to reveal details of her discussions with Flake, saying, “We were just exchanging information.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told reporters that there was no agreement between Flake and Democratic senators because, frankly, Democrats didn’t have a lot of leverage.
“There’s no agreement with us. We’re already voting no!” Klobuchar said, adding it’s now up to Flake and other undecided Republicans to work with the White House on getting an FBI investigation.
The Judiciary Committee vote seemed like a foregone conclusion, with Thursday’s testimony from Kavanaugh and Blasey appearing to have made little difference in the minds of senators. Judiciary Committee Republicans eagerly defended Kavanaugh during his defiant testimony, and accused Democrats of politicizing his nomination. Republicans came away from Blasey’s testimony saying that she was credible, yet continued to claim her memory may have been faulty.
Get more of this story at HuffPost.