Murkowski: Kavanaugh “Not The Right Man For The Court”
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – the lone GOP “no” vote during Brett Kavanaugh’s Friday cloture vote, told reporters Friday that she thinks Kavanaugh may be a “good man” but that he’s “not the right man for the court at this time.”
“[I] took the very, very difficult vote that I did. I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man. I believe he is a good man it just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time,” said Murkowski.
Her comments come shortly after the Senate voted 51-49 to end debate on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, setting up a final vote to confirm him on Saturday. Murkowski did not specifically say she would vote against confirming Kavanaugh, but Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 GOP senator, said he does not expect her to flip her vote.
Murkowski was the only GOP senator to vote against ending debate. She told reporters that she didn’t make her decision until she walked onto the Senate floor for the vote, and that she expects to explain her thinking more fulsomely during a Senate floor speech Friday. –The Hill
Murkowski says that she’s been “wrestling” with the Kavanaugh decision – calling it the “most difficult” she’s had to make in her political career.
Perhaps adding to her internal strife was a chat she had with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in which she appeared to be crying in a hallway as Feinstein browbeat her. Perhaps the 85-year-old Feinstein was helping Murkowski wrestle.
“I believe we are dealing with issues right now that are bigger than a nominee and how we ensure that our institutions, not only the legislative branch but our judicial branch, continue to be respected. This is what I’ve been wrestling with,” Murowski added.
“But if people who are victims, people who feel that they’re is no fairness in our system of government, particularly within our courts, we’ve gone down a path that is not good and right for this country,” she said.
Friday’s cloture vote came one day after the full Senate was granted access to a 46-page supplemental FBI report on sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, which threw his nomination into chaos after several weeks of debate and a testimony by both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh groped her at a high school party over 36 years ago, while none of the people she says were at the party would corroborate her account. Troublingly, Ford’s longtime ex-FBI friend, Monica McLean, allegedly pressured one of the attendees, Leland Keyser, to change her story over fears that Republican Senators would use it to discredit Ford, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The FBI sent the White House and Senate an additional package of information which included text messages from McLean to Keyser.
All of that said, it appears that Senator Murkowski won’t vote with her side of the aisle.