Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) led a press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) today to discuss the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.
They announced they planned to have the final confirmation vote on Saturday.
Watch the video:
Below is the transcript of Grassley’s remarks:
Thank you, Mr. Leader. Before I say a few words, so I won’t have to announce each person after me, in this order will be Hatch, Cornyn, Lee and Tillis, so please just come to the podium and say whatever you want to say and then we’ll take questions.
This is the 87th day. That’s three weeks longer than the average of the last three or four nominees to the Supreme Court. So don’t tell me we haven’t spent enough time. Also I feel very good about where this nomination is right now. Now I don’t say that from the standpoint of counting votes. I say that from the standpoint of the qualifications of this candidate and the fact that those qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice based upon his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit without anybody finding any fault with his qualifications to serve there. But that hasn’t been talked about much, everything else.
This person is very well qualified. A person that believes in the principles of due process, the presumption of innocence and readiness to serve are recognized. So, Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed on Saturday.
Now, this started downhill very quickly. On about July the 10th, when Schumer said that we’re going to do everything we can to stop this nomination. And you can look back 87 days and you can see that everything but whether he’s qualified to serve has been brought up.
I’ve tried to commit and I think I’ve carried out what I promised immediately, that we were going to have a fair and thorough process. We have had a fair and thorough process and I think that’s best demonstrated by the fact that the minute I read about who the person was in the Feinstein letter, Dr. Ford, I read about her name in the paper and we got on it right away to provide the forum she wanted. And in turn, we provided the same forum for Kavanaugh.
But, what I’ve been dealing with since July the 10th, the downhill slope that Schumer has put us on, is really dealing with a demolition derby. They just about destroyed a good person to be on the Supreme Court. So, hopefully we’re 48 hours away from having a new person on the Supreme Court.
Lee issued the following statement Thursday after reading the FBI’s supplemental background investigation into Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh.
“The new information in the supplemental FBI report does not corroborate the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh. I look forward to voting for his confirmation imminently,” he said.
“More is at stake than just this nomination and the Supreme Court. The Senate itself is on trial here. A vote against Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow will be an endorsement of the mishandling of this confirmation process,” Senator Cornyn said during the press conference.
“A vote against Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow will be a vote for abusing the confirmation process and a good person, and it will be a vote for the shameful intimidation tactics that have been employed as part of an orchestrated smear campaign,” he stated.
Cornyn also noted that the entire process could have been avoided if Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) went through the normal process and alerted committee members about the allegation when she first heard of it.
“So now is the time to quit all of these antics, these hijinks, this circus-like atmosphere and we’ll do that Saturday when we finally vote to confirm this good man to this important position,” Cornyn added.
McConnell reiterated that the FBI found nothing that corroborates recent allegations of sexual misconduct during a Senate floor speech this afternoon.
“This is now the seventh time the FBI has thoroughly reviewed Judge Kavanaugh’s background. Seven FBI investigations. So — what have we learned? What do the facts and the evidence tell us after seven FBI investigations? The fact is that these allegations have not been corroborated. None of the allegations have been corroborated by the seventh FBI investigation. Not in the new FBI investigation, not anywhere. None of these last-minute allegations have been corroborated, as is confirmed by the seventh and latest FBI investigation,” he said.
During the press conference McConnell stated that there is nothing that will satisfy Senate Democrats.