The Latest: McConnell says Dems flinging ‘muck’ on Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and allegations of sexual misconduct against him (all times local):
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats have opened “the flood gates of mud and muck” against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The Kentucky Republican says Senate Democrats have been opposed to President Donald Trump’s nominee from the very start. McConnell says accusations against Kavanaugh of sexual abuse in the 1980s have been uncorroborated and are unbelievable. And he says those accusations have been seized on by “the far left that has been so eager to stop this nomination.”
McConnell says Democrats are practicing the politics of personal destruction. But he says anew that the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh this week.
McConnell spoke as the FBI continues its renewed background check of claims by three women that they were victims of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh three decades ago. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
Police say nine women who refused to leave a West Virginia senator’s office during a protest over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been charged with trespassing.
News outlets report the women staged a sit-in at Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s campaign office in Charleston and were charged early Tuesday. The protesters wanted Manchin to commit to opposing Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation to the court.
Manchin declined, saying in a statement he will continue to listen to residents on the issue but will base his decision on facts.
The action came days after California college professor Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford testified under oath in a Senate committee hearing Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
Charleston Police Department Lt. Autumn Davis confirms nine people were charged but declines to comment further.
Harvard Law School says U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will not return to teach in January.
The announcement was made in an email from administrators to law students on Monday. The email says, “Judge Kavanaugh indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered.”
A Harvard Law School spokeswoman confirmed Kavanaugh’s decision to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Kavanaugh was scheduled to teach a three-week course called The Supreme Court Since 2005. He has taught at the law school for about a decade.
The FBI has reopened a background investigation to examine allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh dating to when he was in high school and college. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst says that barring any new information from the FBI she intends to vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Ernst is among six Republican women in the Senate. She told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that California college professor Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh lacks corroboration.
Kavanaugh strongly denies the accusation, but President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have instructed the FBI to investigate it and any other “credible allegations” against him.
Ernst says if no corroboration is turned up she “will continue to support Judge Kavanaugh based on the information” she has.
She adds, “What message that sends to women in America is that we are innocent until proven guilty in this country.”
In a switch in tactics, Democrats are raising new questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s truthfulness when he testified to Congress last week.
The Senate’s Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, says Kavanaugh seems willing to mislead senators about matters big and small to ensure his confirmation. He says there is mounting evidence that the appeals court judge isn’t credible.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging that senators will begin voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination this week, and criticized what he called “endless delay and obstruction.”
Democrats have seized on Kavanaugh’s indignant, emotional testimony before the Judiciary Committee to question whether he has the temperament for a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court.
Kavanaugh has denied claims of sexual misconduct by three different women.