Pa. senators remain split over Kavanaugh nomination
Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey stuck to their opposing views on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a day of heated testimony over Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
Toomey, a Lehigh Valley Republican, said he found Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee “to be sincere and moving, but lacking important specifics.”
“Judge Kavanaugh’s repeated and unequivocal denial was also sincere and very persuasive,” Toomey said in a statement Thursday night. He added that Kavanaugh’s testimony was “corroborated” while he found other witnesses “failed to corroborate or refuted” Ford’s accusation.
“Taking into account today’s testimony and everything else that has been presented about Judge Kavanaugh’s exemplary character and record, I look forward to voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court,” Toomey said.
Casey, a Scranton Democrat, said Thursday night on Twitter that he believes Ford, whom he described as “credible and persuasive.”
“She is also unbelievably brave,” Casey wrote. “Until I heard her talking about what she experienced, I didn’t fully appreciate the terror she felt in that moment, the horror of the physical assault and the psychological trauma of believing she might die.”
“As I’ve said before, I will vote against this nomination,” Casey said in another Thursday night Tweet.
Neither is on the Senate Judiciary Committee but both will vote on the nominee as part of the confirmation process, which requires 51 votes to appoint a nominee to the court.
In a surprise move, Senate Republican leaders agreed Friday to delay a final vote on Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation by the FBI at the request of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
President Trump said Friday afternoon that he would give the FBI one week to investigate — a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh already had been vetted.
The Washington Post first reported allegations by Ford, a California college professor, that Kavanugh had groped her and covered her mouth with his hand at a house party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has called the allegation “completely false.”
Neither Toomey nor Casey immediately returned requests late Friday to address if and how the FBI investigation could affect their vote.
Toomey supported Kavanaugh after meeting with him before the assault allegation emerged. Casey announced his opposition to Trump’s nominee before the president announced who it would be, saying he objected to the process by which Trump selected his potential nominees.
Kavanaugh says he’s done “everything” the Senate has asked of him and “will continue to cooperate.”
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, email@example.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.