Hold On Kavanaugh Vote: MD's Hogan, 5 Other GOP Governors

ANNAPOLIS, MD — By Friday, six Republican governors, including Maryland’s Larry Hogan, had urged the U.S. Senate to delay a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until sexual misconduct allegations made by several women against him can be investigated by the FBI. Also urging the Senate to hold off on a vote on Thursday were Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, John Kasich of Ohio, and Phil Scott of Vermont.

On Friday they were joined by Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. The Senate Judiciary Committee moved forward Friday afternoon to proceed with the vote on the embattled federal judge’s confirmation — but with a condition. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, seen as a key vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would vote to move the confirmation before the full Senate, but asked for a delay of about a week so the FBI can more fully investigate Ford’s allegations.

The American Bar Association also called for a delay of the Senate vote to confirm Kavanaugh pending a “thorough FBI investigation.” The largest association of attorneys in the country rated Kavanaugh “well qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court, and didn’t change that rating despite the call for a delay on his confirmation.

Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of holding her down and attempting to rape her while drunk when she was 15, faced extensive questioning from a Republican-appointed lawyer during a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. Scores of women’s groups have come out in support of Ford and sexual assault victims in general. Kavanaugh, who has emphatically denied Ford’s and other women’s accusations, began testifying Thursday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for Hogan said he believes a full investigation is needed into the sexual assault allegations. Amelia Chasse, Gov. Hogan’s spokeswoman, said Thursday that “the governor believes there needs to be a full investigation before the process moves forward,” according to an Associated Press report.

“The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation,” Baker said in a tweet as Thursday’s hearing started. “There should be no vote in the Senate.”

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Baker and Hogan captured the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in polls for the most popular governors in the country. Kasich ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2018, while supporters have already urged Hogan, who is just finishing his first term and seeking re-election in November, to run for president in 2020 because he has wide support among GOP and Democratic voters in his heavily blue state.

Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, forcefully and at times tearfully denied the sexual misconduct allegation and said his name has been “totally and permanently destroyed” by what he called “vicious and false additional accusations.” He pleaded with Americans to listen to other witnesses who knew him growing up and said the confirmation process had become a “national disgrace.”

“The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process. But you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy,” he told the lawmakers, adding that Democrats have been plotting against him since he was first nominated by President Donald Trump in July.

Reports of another high school misdeed were published by one news site, but Montgomery County Police have said the department has no knowledge of the accusation. The Montgomery County Sentinel reported investigators are looking into allegations by a second woman against Kavanaugh tied to a party during his senior year of high school. The source who claims to know about the investigation wasn’t named, but a Montgomery County police spokesman told Patch the department is not investigating any related allegations.

Deborah Ramirez, 53, of Boulder, Colorado, has accused Kavanaugh of misconduct from the time they both attended Yale University. Kavanaugh maintains that the alleged assaults did not happen.

Scott also urged caution before the confirmation vote, which could be held on Friday morning. “I’m not taking a position on Judge Kavanaugh himself, but we owe it to Americans to make sure that they get it right,” Scott told the Burlington Free Press. “It’s their obligation to do so. So take your time. Investigate.”

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PHOTO: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh swears in at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Sept. 27. Image via Shutterstock

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