Transcript of the Afternoon Closing Session on Friday September 28, 2018
Senate Judiciary Meeting on Brett Kavanaugh Nomination
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 to move the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh out of committee. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) only cast the deciding “aye” vote after negotiations with Democrats to delay the floor vote on this nomination for up to a week, giving the FBI time to investigate the sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. At that time, Senate Republican leadership and the Trump Administration had not yet agreed to Senator Flake’s request. Senator Flake could vote “no” in the full Senate on moving forward with the nomination.
September 28, 2018 | Clip Of Senate Judiciary Meeting on Brett Kavanaugh Nomination
Senate Judiciary Committee Votes to Advance Judge Kavanaugh to a Floor Vote
Along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a vote on the Senate floor. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said that he would vote for the nomination to a floor vote but asked to delay the floor in order for an additional FBI investigation lasting no more than one week to take place.
0-12 seconds Jeff Flake returns to the room
Mr. GRASSLEY: As a point of personal privilege I am going to call on Senator Flake to speak. Normally we would start the vote right now but as a point of personal privilege I would call on Senator Flake.
Senator FLAKE: Well thank you. I have been speaking with a number of people on the other side. We had conversations ongoing for a while with regard to making sure we do due diligence here, and I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week in order to let the FBI continue, to do an investigation, limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there, and limit in time to no more than one week, and I will vote to advance the bill to the floor with that understanding. I’ve spoken to a few other members on my side of the aisle that may be supportive as well but that’s my position. I think that we ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important.
And I want to say that this committee has acted properly and the Chairman has bent over backwards to do investigations from this committee, and to delay this vote in this committee for a week so that judge, so that Ms. Ford, Dr. Ford could be heard and she was yesterday. So that’s with that agreement I will vote to advance the bill to the floor.
Mr. GRASSLEY: Call the roll.
Senator FLAKE: Wait, just one second can Diane speak?
Mr. GRASSLEY: What are we voting on, let’s see. We are voting on the motion to report the nomination to the floor. Call the role.
Voices heard in the room.
DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Whoa. Whoa. That’s not my understanding. Mr. Chairman, of what the Senator explained.
Mr. CORNYN: Inaudible.
Senator FLAKE: That is my understanding, and if the democrats could speak to it, or Chris or you as we talked about before that the democrats would accept or endorse a one week FBI investigation limited in time and scope.
Mr. GRASSLEY: Since you’re the deciding vote here we’ll vote and if there’s any sort of discussion we’ll do that after the roll. Call the roll!
Mr. GRASSLEY: Aye. The nominee will be reported to the floor.
VOTES ANNOUNCED: Mr. Chairman the votes are 11 yeahs, 10 nays
Mr. COONS: Mr. Chairman may I be recognized?
Mr. GRASSLEY: Yes
Mr. COONS: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I just want to thank my friend and colleague Senator Flake and thank you for giving us the time today to have a conversation. A number of my colleagues have asked for a one week delay in order that there might be an FBI investigation of what allegations are currently before this Committee. I respect Senator Flake’s view that in his opinion it was best to respect your having given Dr. Ford the time to be heard yesterday, and advance the Nominee to the floor, but it is my hope that we could work together on a bi-partisan basis to diligently pursue an FBI investigation, within the next week not for the purpose of delay, but for the purpose of investigating further either allegations made by Dr. Ford or others with a goal towards demonstrating a bi-partisan commitment to diligently investigating these allegations. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you Senator Flake.
Mr. GRASSLEY: Senator Feinstein.
DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Thank you. I would support that motion. I think we do need this investigation. As a matter of fact I sort of misunderstood Senator Flake what you were doing, I though t included a one week investigation. So I would like to support the motion for that investigation.
LINDSAY GRAHAM: Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GRASSLEY: We’ll take turns here. Senator.
LINDSAY GRAHAM: Mr. Chairman I love this Committee but we’re not the majority leader. Senator Flake has made clear what it would take him to be comfortable on a final passage vote but it doesn’t matter what we say here. This will be up to Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell. So.
Senator FLAKE: It is completely up to them.
LINDSAY GRAHAM: And I think Jeff has made himself very clear.