GOP lines up Kavanaugh vote plan as showdown hearing nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are beginning to schedule votes aimed at putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

GOP leaders set a Senate Judiciary Committee vote for Friday and hoped to confirm Kavanaugh early next week. That’s even as Thursday’s showdown hearing approaches.

Senate Republicans are bringing in a veteran Arizona prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to handle questioning about allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a fellow teenager in the 1980s.

Mitchell comes from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix. She is the chief of the Special Victims Division, which covers sex crimes and family violence.

A handful of undeclared GOP moderates leave Kavanaugh’s fate uncertain because the party runs the Senate with just a 51-49 advantage. There’s no telling how Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will perform at the hearing.

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