With new allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh swirling, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of a “shameful smear campaign” intended to derail his confirmation to the high court.
“Even by the far left’s standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low,” McConnell said in an angry speech on the Senate floor. “Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations.”
The Kentucky Republican used the word “smear” at least six times in his remarks.
McConnell’s comments come amid two new reports of women who are accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. On Sunday, the New Yorker published an article by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer reporting the allegations of Deborah Ramirez, a college classmate of Kavanaugh. She told them Kavanaugh thrust his penis at her face during a dorm-room party when they were both freshmen at Yale.
Kavanaugh strongly denied the allegation, saying, “This is a smear, plain and simple.” The White House dismissed it as “the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man.”
Ramirez is the second woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The first, Christine Blasey Ford, said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party in suburban Maryland when they were teenagers. Ford and Kavanaugh are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Earlier Monday, the Montgomery County (Md.) Sentinel reported that authorities are investigating an allegation by an unnamed woman of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, also dating from high school.
Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, said he is representing a woman who has “credible information” about Kavanaugh. It’s unclear whether the woman is the same one mentioned in the Sentinel’s report.
“They were going to do whatever they could to stop this qualified, experienced and mainstream nominee,” McConnell said of the Democrats opposed to Kavanaugh. “It’s despicable.”
Arriving at the United Nations in New York City earlier Monday, President Trump said he is standing by Kavanaugh.
“I am with him all the way,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll see how it goes with the Senate; we’ll see how it goes for the vote. I think it could be — there’s a chance this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”
He added: “For people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago, and never mention it and all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion, it’s totally political. It’s totally political.”
On Monday afternoon, Trump told reporters that he hopes Kavanaugh will be confirmed “quickly.”
“His family has suffered,” the president said. “Brett Kavanaugh is an absolute outstanding person. Hopefully he will be confirmed quickly.”
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday, McConnell dismissed the allegations against Kavanaugh and predicted his swift confirmation.
“President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual,” McConnell said. “You watch the fight, you watch the tactics, but here’s what I want to tell you. In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.”
“Keep the faith,” he continued. “Don’t get rattled by all this. We’re gonna plow right through it.”
McConnell — who refused to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, much less a vote — vowed that he would get Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor.
“Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor,” he said. “Up or down, on the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future.”
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