Could Susan Rice challenge Susan Collins in 2020?

Monday, 08 Oct, 2018

A witness who could not corroborate Christine Blasey Ford's story about Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her says a mutual friend pushed her to add that she believed Ford anyway, according to a bombshell report in the Wall Street Journal.

Murkowski said her decision was "agonizing" and she was "truly leaning" toward confirming Kavanaugh.

On October 5, Joe Manchin was the lone Democrat to invoke cloture on Kavanaugh's nomination. The position of national security advisor doesn't require Senate confirmation. She told the Senate that she decried the confirmation process as a "caricature of a gutter-level political campaign" marred by "over-the-top rhetoric and distortions" of Kavanaugh's record.

"The presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I can not abandon them", she added, calling Kavanaugh "an exemplary public servant".

Addressing his angry testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he branded the allegations against him an "orchestrated political hit", he wrote: "I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said".

She said would announce later in the day whether she would support him in the final ballot. "I found her testimony to be honest, painful and compelling".

"You ask me to get in the minds of everybody, whether they're men or women", Grassley told reporters.

Collins' speech was immediately interrupted by protesters in the Senate gallery, who chanted "vote no", indicative of the huge pressure she faced to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. Manchin announced that he would also be a yes on the final vote tomorrow.

The Maine senator is under enormous pressure to vote for Kavanaugh, and she has indicated that she is leaning in that direction.

A vote on confirmation could happen as early as Saturday.

The outcome, telegraphed Friday when the final undeclared senators revealed their views, was devoid of the shocks that had come nearly daily since Christine Blasey Ford said last month that an inebriated Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a 1982 high school get-together. Capitol Police said 164 were arrested, raising that count in recent days well into the hundreds. "It will not change the outcome of the vote" Murkowski said on the Senate floor on Friday night.

Daines, a Montana Republican who has supported Kavanaugh's nomination, has been scheduled to attend his daughter's wedding on Saturday for months and made it clear he wouldn't be skipping the ceremony.

On the other side, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".

Collins has never opposed a Supreme Court nominee, voting to confirm the past five justices from Republican and Democratic presidents. Two other women later emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s, all of which Kavanaugh has denied.

Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party more than three decades ago while they were both in high school.