Several Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee walked out in protest on Friday before the committee could vote on whether to proceed with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and send his nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.
Four Democratic Senators–Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono and Sheldon Whitehouse–all walked out of the committee meeting as GOP Senator and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley gave his opening remarks on Kavanaugh. The move followed the previous day’s eight hours of testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh, who alternated between anger and tears as he claimed that Ford’s sexual assault allegation was part of a left-wing conspiracy to destroy “my family and my name.”
After exiting, Harris called the committee meeting a “sham,” adding that Ford and the “American people deserve better.”
“If this hearing were sufficient, we would not, as a matter of course, have the FBI do a background investigation every time we have a nominee to the court,” Harris told reporters. “But yet when it came to these allegations, [Republicans] wanted to cut off that process. And you have to ask why.”
Democrats, Ford, the American Bar Association and critics of Kavanaugh have all called for a renewed FBI investigation following Ford’s and other women’s allegations. Since Ford first went public, two other women—Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick—have also came forward with sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
Speaking to reporters after walking out of the meeting, Blumenthal vowed that Democrats would use “every tool available” to prevent Kavanaugh’s nomination. He stopped short of offering specific tactics other than mentioning a continued effort to corrall more votes against the nominee. “America is watching as never before,” Blumenthal added.
At the beginning of the Judiciary Committee meeting, Blumenthal made a last-ditch effort to subpoena Mark Judge, the friend of Kavanaugh’s who Ford said was in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her at a high school house party. Senators Cory Booker and Harris then refused to vote on a motion to proceed with the Kavanaugh vote.
Blumenthal, Harris, Hirono and Whitehouse then stood up and quietly walked out of the room in protest.
Originally scheduled for Friday morning, the committee postponed the vote on Kavanaugh until 1:30 p.m. on Friday.
- What to watch for during Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford hearing
- Time, TV and what to watch for in Thursday’s Brett Kavanaugh-Christine Blasey Ford hearing
- WATCH: Kamala Harris Literally Speechless When Asked About Jussie Smollett Hoax
- Why Kamala Harris hasn’t caught fire in the Democratic 2020 race
- GMA Goes GaGa Over Kamala Harris 2020 Announcement, Refuse to Ask Her About Dem Scandals
- Will Cory Booker be punished over Kavanaugh emails?
- Brett Kavanaugh: Democrats try to persuade Jeff Flake to delay vote
- Chris Coons Says He ‘Has To Be Careful’ In Saying Cory Booker Violated Rules With Kavanaugh Docs
- WATCH: Kamala Harris Compares ICE To KKK, Suggests They're Terrorists. She Gets Destroyed.