Collins announces support for Kavanaugh, making chances of confirmation almost certain

Ford’s own team kills liberal narrative Alleged attack did not happen

Collins announces support for Kavanaugh, making chances of confirmation almost certain

After a bitter drawn-out fight that divided the nation, the U.S. Senate on Friday moved Brett Kavanaugh one step closer to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a historic final vote this weekend.

Frances in Lynnwood said that Kavanaugh's response to the allegations struck her even more than the accusations themselves. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

In keeping with her deliberative style, Collins had kept mum for weeks about how she would vote. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona also said on MSNBC on Friday he would vote yes on Kavanaugh's final confirmation barring no late breaking developments. People shouted "shame, shame" as Manchin spoke to reporters about his decision.

"I don't think she has any regrets". She also rejected concerns by Democrats about his temperament and that he was out of the judicial mainstream.

"The allegations fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", Collins said as she announced her vote.

The vote on confirming Kavanaugh as an associate justice will begin at roughly 3:30 p.m., and senators have been advised to be in their seats by the time the historic roll call begins. Collins - along with Sen.

Only one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, is expected to vote against Kavanaugh. Joe Manchin, who voted in favor of moving Kavanaugh's nomination to a floor vote.

Meanwhile, a source familiar with the confirmation process told Fox News that Manchin called to notify the White House that he was a "yes" for Kavanaugh.

The FBI reached out to 10 witnesses, although nine were ultimately interviewed, according to senators and the White House.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's vote seems destined to be almost party-line. Sen. And so every vote has been a subject of intense speculation and scrutiny. "It just might be, in my view, he is not the right man for the court at this time", she added.

She won't vote a straight "no", though. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who is attending his daughter's wedding in Montana.

The first test vote on the nominee is due in a few hours.

Some senators are fine with advancing a nomination or bill to be voted on, but not OK with the nominee or the substance of legislation.

"This has truly been the most hard ... decision that I've ever had to make", she said. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Without weighing in on the sexual assault allegations that Ford leveled against Kavanaugh, Mrs. Trump says victims of "any kind of abuse or violence" must be helped. The accusations eventually led to President Trump ordering an FBI investigation.

The FBI provided a confidential report to senators on Thursday after a limited inquiry into allegations of misconduct.

McConnell said that defeating Kavanaugh would mean that "media bullying and mob intimidation are valid tactics for shaping the Senate".

Collins stressed that she had listened "carefully" to Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, which Collins believed was "sincere, painful and compelling". Support from Collins and Manchin would give Kavanaugh the majority he needs. He served as a clerk to Kennedy in the early 1990s alongside Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom Trump nominated for the Supreme Court past year.

Protesters clashed with Republican lawmakers in an effort to sway their votes, and initially appeared to have some success.

Democrats don't seem to have the votes to keep Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court, but that's not stopping them from taking to the Senate floor in a parade of speeches into the early morning against the conservative jurist.

Collins noted that the Senate confirmation process was not a criminal trial but said that "certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking".

Three women have come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting or harassing them during his high school and university years. They also sought to paint him as a justice that would swing the court deeply to the right.

The vote caps a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his Supreme Court nominee.

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