The FBI is wrapping up its investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The committee decided to continue the FBI investigation, despite Kavanaugh’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Sept. 27, in which he vehemently denied the sexual assault allegations against him and blasted Democrats in the Senate for undermining his confirmation process in an “orchestrated political hit” and “grotesque character assassination.” The result of this investigation could determine whether Kavanaugh will get a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward three weeks ago with claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school house party in 1982. Her allegations led to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 27. Ford remained resolute in her claims and throughout her cross examination, despite being visibly shaken and saddened by having to relive her trauma in front of the committee and in eyes of the nation.
As part of a milieu that readily dismisses and discredits female victims of sexual assault, Dr. Ford had to walk a fine line — relaying her measured testimony with precision and conviction — to make her victimhood legitimate.
On the other hand, Kavanaugh’s testimony was defensive, angry, and at times, borderline absurd. His opening testimony became a 40-minute defense of his character and his past behaviors. He referenced his high school social calendars, his membership of the Georgetown Preparatory high school football team, his various female friends, and reverence for The Constitution, all as evidence of his moral uprightness and inability to commit sexual assault.
During questioning, Kavanaugh repeatedly refused to answer Democrats’ questions and instead decided to question the senators himself. Senator Amy Klobuchar (Dem-Minn.) asked whether Kavanaugh ever got so drunk he couldn’t remember what happened the night before. “You’re asking about a blackout,” Kavanaugh responded. “I don’t know, have you?” “I have no drinking problem,” Klobuchar responded.
Republicans had 49 votes in support of Kavanaugh’s election, one vote shy of the 50 needed to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the decision on Kavanaugh’s guilt came down to the swing vote of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ.). After an emotional interaction with two female protestors in an elevator and a tense back-room discussion, Flake decided to delay the Senate confirmation vote till after an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh. “I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week,” said Flake. “We ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important.”
Although the time parameters of this FBI investigation were unspecified, it is predicted to conclude on Friday, Oct. 5. According to Senator Mitch McConnell: “We’ll get an FBI report soon. It’ll be made available to each senator, and only senators will be allowed to look at it. And that’s the way these reports are always handled.”
As soon as the investigation concludes, McConnell plans to go ahead with the Senate vote, and by the end of the week we will likely know the status of Kavanaugh’s position in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court started its new term on Oct. 1. If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the court, he will immediately become a deciding vote on a number of upcoming cases. He has already stated he plans to essentially gut Roe vs. Wade and backtrack several Obama-era initiatives.