Kavanaugh fights more allegations

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1:33 p.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Anti-Kavanaugh protests lead to arrests at the Capitol

From CNN's Sunlen Serfaty, Ted Barrett and Elizabeth Landers

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Protests at the US Capitol on Monday led to some arrests as demonstrators gathered to oppose embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the high court.

The demonstrators sought to put pressure on Sen. Susan Collins, a potential swing vote, by showing up at her Dirksen Senate office. An aide from Collins' office came out into the hallway at one point to listen to the protestors.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The protestors implored the senator to take a stand sooner rather than later, saying: "Collins needs to make a decision now when it matters and stand up for us."

Another protestor indicated that she was still holding out hope that Collins would be a "no" vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, saying, "We believe that Senator Collins can be a hero."

Capitol Hill police worked to make sure that people had room to move throughout the hallways, and later arrests began to take place outside of Collins' office to protestors occupying the hallway.

12:04 p.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Some Republicans increasingly concerned about Kavanaugh's fate, source says

From CNN's Jim Acosta

With the Brett Kavanaugh story changing by the hour, there are growing concerns among some Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee about the fate of the Supreme Court nominee, according to a senior GOP aide.

The aide said “it can’t just be about winning.”

Here's exactly what the aide said:

"There are certainly concerns about the situation, Republicans recognize that they can't be glib about what's going on. It can't just be about winning because getting Judge Kavanaugh on the bench with a cloud like this would be deeply damaging to the institution, even if Republicans have serious concerns about politics and motives behind the scenes. So they'll work on the verifying as much as they can even as the landscape seems to change by the hour.”

 

11:38 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

GOP leadership determined to move forward with Kavanaugh's nomination

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

Senate GOP leadership has hardened its resolve to move forward with Brett Kavanaugh's nomination in the wake of the New Yorker reporting last night, per multiple GOP officials and aides.

While Republican aides acknowledge Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations and the looming hearing on them have left Kavanaugh’s nomination in limbo, the newest allegations “have made people more angry then worried,” one senior official told CNN.

The official pointed to strong statements from Sens. Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham this morning, and said it’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will reiterate his support for the nomination this afternoon. 

  • Cotton, in a statement, put the blame on Democrats for the stories – and called it “character assassination.”
  • Graham, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, called the allegations “wholesale character assassination."

The statements echo what has become a drumbeat of public and private messages from outside conservative and grassroots groups to push forward amid the allegations. 

What to watch now: The key to everything remains the vote count — and that means leaders are closely watching Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, as well as Sen. Jeff Flake, a member of the Judiciary Committee, to see what their reactions will be in the wake of the latest allegation, the officials and aides said.

11:23 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Lindsey Graham assails "total collapse" of Supreme Court confirmation process

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham today released a statement slamming Democrats for Judge Brett Kavanaugh's "wholesale character assassination" and the "total collapse" of the confirmation process.

Graham, a key Trump ally in the Senate and Judiciary Committee member, called for the nomination process to move forward with a hearing and a vote "soon thereafter."

See it:

When it comes to stopping President Donald Trump and his agenda, there seem to be no boundaries.
Whether it’s coaching witnesses or reporting thinly-sourced stories without proper verification, everything is fair game and falls into the category of "The Ends Justify the Means."
What we are witnessing is the total collapse of the traditional confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee. It is being replaced by a game of delay, deception, and wholesale character assassination. 
Clearly when it comes to President Trump, elections – in the eyes of Democrats – have no consequences.
In my view, the process needs to move forward with a hearing Thursday, and vote in committee soon thereafter.
11:14 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Dem senator calls for "impartial, federal investigation" into Kavanaugh allegations

U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement after the second allegation against Judge Kavanaugh calling for a "professional, impartial, federal investigation."

See it:

These new allegations are deeply concerning and reinforce the need for the FBI to investigate claims against Judge Kavanaugh. Everyone - the accusers, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people - would benefit from a professional, impartial, federal investigation. I agree with Ranking Member Feinstein’s call for an immediate postponement of this week’s hearing and investigations into these claims.
10:39 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Anti-Kavanaugh protesters are rallying outside Susan Collins' office

Protestors rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh as they make their way from the Supreme Court to the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Monday.
Protestors rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh as they make their way from the Supreme Court to the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Monday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Protesters have gathered in the Senate Office building to rally againt Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

They're outside the office of Sen. Susan Collins, who is considered a key senator who could make or break Kavanaugh's conformation.

The protests come just after a second accuser against Kavanaugh came forward. Last night, the New Yorker reported that Deborah Ramirez, 53, attended Yale with Kavanaugh and said she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dorm party.

Watch the protest:

9:56 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

How Kavanaugh and the White House responded to the new allegation

Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reported last night that Deborah Ramirez, 53, attended Yale with Kavanaugh and said she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party.

Both Kavanaugh and the White House denied the allegation. Here are the statements they released just after the story broke:

Statement from Judge Brett Kavanaugh:  

“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name--and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building--against these last-minute allegations.”

Statement from White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec:

This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”

 

9:15 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

Trump defends Kavanaugh, says allegations against him are unfair

President Trump is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. On the sidelines, he defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who faces two sexual misconduct allegations.

"He's a fair man with an unblemished past," Trump said. "Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way."

He called the allegations against Kavanaugh "highly unsubstantiated."

"There's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything," Trump said.

Watch more:

8:38 a.m. ET, September 24, 2018

What you need to know about the second sexual misconduct allegation against Kavanaugh

Just as arrangements were finally locked in for a Senate hearing on Thursday with his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, a second accuser came forward.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The allegation: Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reported Sunday that Deborah Ramirez, 53, attended Yale with Kavanaugh and said she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party.
  • What Democrats are saying: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for an immediate postponement of Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings in a letter to the committee's chairman, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, and asked that the new allegation be referred to the FBI for investigation.
  • And what Republicans are saying: Grassley's spokesman, George Hartmann, told CNN that the chairman will "look into" the new allegation, but there are no plans at the moment to delay the Thursday hearing. Meanwhile, the White House and Kavanaugh himself denied the allegation.