The Latest: Trump would prefer faster Kavanaugh confirmation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he would have preferred a faster confirmation process for his Supreme Court nominee.
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations Wednesday, Trump says Senate Republicans “could not be nicer” in their treatment of the woman who claims Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
Said Trump: “They could have pushed it through two and a half weeks ago and you wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is frankly what I would have preferred.”
Senate Republicans are bringing in a veteran Arizona prosecutor to handle questioning about the allegations. Asked about the move, Trump said the lawmakers “could not be nicer” and “could not be more respectful.”
Trump said he was “ok with that,” but again defended Kavanaugh as a “gem.”
An attorney for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says there is no dispute that he drank in high school and college.
Lawyer Beth Wilkinson tells CNN Wednesday that whether or not Kavanaugh drank isn’t the issue. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women; one from high school and one from college. He’s denied those allegations.
Kavanaugh said in an interview earlier this week with Fox News that he went to an all-boys Catholic high school where he focused on academics, and athletics. He said he went to church on Sundays and worked on service projects.
But former classmates have disputed that image, saying he was a partier and heavy drinker at times.
Wilkinson said Wednesday: “If this is going to be the standard for how we judge somebody going into public service, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to go through something like this.”
Kavanaugh will testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. So will his chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who said he sexually assaulted her in high school.
Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford say they have submitted sworn affidavits to the Senate Judiciary Committee from four people who say she told them that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had assaulted her in high school.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
The four sworn affidavits are among the information the committee is considering on the eve of Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday.
All four documents say that Ford revealed the information well before President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the high court in July. They come from Ford’s husband and three family friends, who say Ford mentioned the incident in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017.
Two affidavits, from Ford’s husband Russell Ford and from the coach of their son’s baseball team, say Ford named Kavanaugh as the alleged assailant. In the other two, Ford did not name Kavanaugh but said she was assaulted by a federal judge.
The attorney for one of the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct says the Senate Judiciary Committee has not invited her to tell her story. John Clune, who is representing Deborah Ramirez, says the committee is “refusing even to talk to us.”
Clune says that Republicans did not participate in a pre-arranged Tuesday night conference call to talk about Ramirez’ allegations. He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the “only way to get at the truth of what happened” is to interview his client. He said she’d be willing to testify before the committee if asked, but he wasn’t sure whether she would do it without an FBI investigation first.
There was no immediate response by the committee to the AP’s request for comment.
Ramirez told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale. She has acknowledged consuming alcohol at the time, which clouded some of her memories.
The Senate panel is scheduled to hear from Kavanaugh’s chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, on Thursday. She says he assaulted her at a party in high school in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh denies both allegations.
A lawyer for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says the woman who is to testify Thursday about her claim he sexually assaulted her in high school has not turned over key information related to her accusation.
Beth Wilkinson said Wednesday on CBS “This Morning” that the results of Christine Blasey Ford’s polygraph test and her therapist’s notes are not among the materials turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the eve of her testimony.
Wilkinson said: “They announced that there were notes and that there had been a lie detector test” but that those materials were not turned over “even though they were requested.”
Ford is expected to testify Thursday about her allegations that Kavanaugh held her down, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth at a drunken high school party in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations. He and Ford are scheduled to testify on Thursday.
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.