The wait is over. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of the key votes in this fight to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has made her decision. She had lunch with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier today. McConnell said he was "optimistic" about this vote. Collins took to the Senate floor to announce that she’s voting Brett Kavanaugh.
Manchin to back Kavanaugh.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Collins to vote yes on Kavanaugh— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Manchin: Based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Cornyn: “I’m proud of Senator Collins for resisting the intimidation”— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
McConnell on Collins speech: “It was an extraordinary speech. One of the best I’ve ever heard. It came at the right time.”— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
With Collins/Manchin as yeas, Kavanaugh should get 51 yeas if Daines is present. Confirmation would be 50-49 if Daines is absent— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
In a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Collins took a thorough review of the Senate’s advise and consent powers, lamented about the dysfunction, the hyper-partisan circus that ensued, and bashed Democrats, albeit underhandedly, on their egregious overreach in this fight. While not naming him, Collins cited the third accusation, that Kavanaugh was part of a gang rape ring, as part of her affirmation that the presumption of innocence must be taken into account when dealing with these issues.
The process has been engulfed in chaos and bitter partisan fighting, as Christine Blasey Ford lobbed the first of three sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. All three are lacking in evidence or corroborating witnesses. Ford claims a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a high school party, though she cannot remember key details. How this gathering was organized, whose house it was held in, how she got there, and how she got home after the alleged attack is unknown; she can’t remember. Ford wrote a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) office during the summer. Feinstein sat on it for weeks, not telling her Senate colleagues until the very last minute when Kavanaugh’s confirmation looked like it was going to be a smooth ride. It was the first salvo of a well-orchestrated left-wing character assassination. It was a political hit job, a desperate Hail Mary to block this nomination at all costs. And it failed.
Collins on Ford letter: To that leaker who I hope is listening now..What you did was unsconscionable..— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Collins: Therefore I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Judge Kavanaugh will soon become Justice Kavanaugh on a 50-49 vote, with Manchin and Collins announcing they will vote for him— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 5, 2018
Collins sounds like a 'no' on Soros— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) October 5, 2018
Susan Collins points out how often Merrick Garland and Kavanaugh have voted together, which sounds like it was aimed to be a little salt in the wound for the left— Tim Mak (@timkmak) October 5, 2018
When Collins says it is appalling that Swetnick "gang rape" claims made it Senate advice/consent, she is telling Democrats they really overplayed their hand.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) October 5, 2018
Heckuva job, @MichaelAvenatti - you helped convince Susan Collins to vote yes— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) October 5, 2018
Collins says SCOTUS confirmation process has hit “rock bottom. “— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Collins calls Kavanaugh confirmation process “a caricature of a gutter level political campaign.” Says there has been “over the top rhetoric.”— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Collins on the flr now. Immediately cut off by protesters. They are removed— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
McConnell in chamber to hear from Collins on flr shortly— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 5, 2018
Michael Avenatti represents the third accuser—and his dabbling in this fight made Democrats concerned for good reason: the claim is outrageous. And like with the other two, is without evidence. Nothing can be confirmed. Collins said that these cases, along with the materials that supposedly back them up, do not meet the benchmarks that would bring her to the conclusion that she cannot back this nomination. Collins also torched the person who leaked the Ford letter that set up this whole circus, calling their actions "unconscionable." That’s a little debatable. Ford retained the legal services of an anti-Trump lawyer and Democratic operative. She also took a polygraph way before her name became known nationwide. These are the actions of someone who was preparing to come forward, but that’s all ancient history. We won. The Democrats lost. That’s what matters.