September 24, 2018 03:24 PM
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will receive an up-or-down vote in the Senate "in the near future."
McConnell on Monday angrily denounced Democrats, accusing them of waging a "smear campaign" against Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including a report Sunday by The New Yorker magazine that dates to Kavanaugh's time as an undergraduate at Yale University in the 1980s.
McConnell called the latest allegation "another orchestrated, last-minute hit on the nominee" by Democrats who oppose Kavanaugh's conservative judicial philosophy.
McConnell says "Democrats won't let a complete lack of evidence get between them and a good smear. It's despicable."
Denouncing his accusers for launching "smears, pure and simple," Kavanaugh said Monday he'll continue fighting for Senate confirmation.
"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from the process," Kavanaugh wrote in a letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out."
Hours earlier, President Donald Trump led the defense of his embattled nominee against the latest allegation of sexual misconduct, calling the accusations against Kavanaugh "totally political."
The combative tone by Kavanaugh and Trump came a day after a second allegation emerged. That accusation, in a report by The New Yorker magazine, pushed the White House and Senate Republicans onto the defensive and fueled calls from Democrats for further investigation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called for the "immediate postponement" of any further action on Kavanaugh's nomination.
Trump, at the United Nations for his second General Assembly meeting, called the allegations unfair and unsubstantiated, made by accusers who come "out of the woodwork." He also questioned the political motivations of the attorneys representing the women, saying "you should look into the lawyers doing the representation."
On Kavanaugh, Trump stressed: "I am with him all the way."
The new accusation landed late Sunday in a report from The New Yorker, just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold an extraordinary public hearing Thursday for Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denies the accusation.
Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway told CBS on Monday that the accusations against Kavanaugh sound like "a vast left-wing conspiracy," using rhetoric that echoed Hillary Clinton's 1998 description of allegations that her husband, President Bill Clinton, had had affairs.
Trump is suggesting the timing of the New Yorker article is further evidence of what he has been saying privately for days: that the Democrats and media are conspiring to undermine his pick.
The Associated Press
Updated: September 24, 2018 03:24 PM
Created: September 24, 2018 02:54 PM
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