During the Judiciary Committee business meeting this morning, Sen. Flake (R-Arizona) decided that a FBI investigation would be helpful “to mend the nation”. So before he voted on Kavanaugh in committee, he asked for such an investigation to be conducted. A senator cannot make their vote contingent on anything, so this was mostly symbolic and political. Kavanaugh was reported out of committee favorably 11-10 (voted along party lines); his confirmation can now move to the Senate floor. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) very shortly after the vote echoed Flake’s call for an additional FBI investigation, essentially forcing Leader McConnell to delay the vote for said investigation.
Tomorrow at noon there was a procedural vote (motion to proceed) scheduled, but in a plot twist no one saw coming, about 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, the Senate agreed by unanimous consent request (that means no one, including democrats objected) to the motion to proceed (the one that was scheduled for tomorrow) to move to Executive Session for the consideration of Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Monday at 3:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and continue Kavanaugh’s consideration. There will be other legislation considered then as well.
The White House has now asked the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation into *existing* allegations only, and the investigation must wrap up in one week. This was the exact request from Senate Judiciary. The investigation could last two hours, or it could last all week. There is no way to know. This is why McConnell moved forward with the motion to proceed regardless.
Chairman Grassley’s repeated remarks this week on why a FBI investigation is useless are helpful. To summarize: it is not their job to reach conclusions or give recommendations; that is the sole job of the Senate (advice and consent); there was no federal crime committed, so they don’t have jurisdiction anyway.
After the FBI concludes their investigation, there will likely be calls for additional investigations. From day one the Democrats entire goal was to stop this with “everything they have”. There will be more calls for delay. There will very likely be more allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. The pressure on the four undecided senators will be intense (Heidi Heitkamp D-North Dakota, Joe Manchin D-West Virginia, Susan Collins R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska). It will all get much, much worse. When abortion is your god and life has no value, ruining one man’s life and reputation to “save Roe” is not even an ethical question, it’s a mandate. Leader McConnell is very motivated to move forward. He knows this is important on every level. Floor debate will continue all week. Once the FBI investigation is over, at some point next week, we will have the cloture vote (end debate), and then the final vote.
Earlier today after the Flake episode, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), one of our “gettable” democrats previously undecided, came out in opposition to Kavanaugh and intends to vote against his confirmation.
Pray for Judge Kavanaugh and please pray for Ashley Kavanaugh, too. I will never forget the look on her face yesterday. I cannot imagine having to explain to my 10 and 13 year old girls that even though half the country thinks their dad gang raped women, that is a lie made up and permeated by politicians. I would also encourage you to watch Senator Graham’s questioning of Kavanaugh yesterday if you haven’t already. It sums it up perfectly, and I found it very encouraging.