Brett Kavanaugh pens op-ed in WSJ: 'I was very emotional'


If all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation, only two Republicans need to vote no to sink his chances.

"Nobody is supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in the United States of America", McConnell said on Capitol Hill on Thursday talking about Kavanaugh, while blasting Democrats.

WASHINGTON - US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday that he "might have been too emotional at times" in his Senate testimony last week in which he denied accusations of sexual misconduct.

Democrats say Republicans have tried to rush the process.

Confirming Kavanaugh, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on Thursday would send a message that the "politics of baseless personal destruction has no place" in the Senate.

Asked on Fox News how the vote would go, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who oversaw Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation hearings, said, "As of now, I don't really know".

Confirmation would hand Trump a clear victory and tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favor of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the USA military. Ford alleged that while they were in high school, a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down at a party and attempted to remove her clothes, covering her mouth when she tried to scream.

All eyes are on those key Republicans who could make or break the confirmation - Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. She spoke on the Senate floor ahead of a Friday procedural vote. Collins has not announced how she will vote. If, for example, 40 percent of Americans supported Kavanaugh in July and 50 percent didn't know enough to have an opinion, it's very possible that a poll in September could show that most of that 50 percent had made up its mind - in opposition.

President Donald Trump was quick to tweet his support of the nominee.

United Kingdom says Russian Federation was behind 4 major cyber-attacks on Western democracies
Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General, vowed to strengthen the alliance's defences against attacks on computer networks. Britain's ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

Mr Kavanaugh has categorically denied both claims and said he has never sexually assaulted anyone.

"Before left-wing outside groups and Democratic leaders had him in their sights, Judge Kavanaugh possessed an impeccable reputation and was held in high esteem by the bench and the bar alike", Grassley said.

The FBI was directed to look into "credible" allegations of sexual misconduct made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez against Kavanaugh.

Two of the three Republican lawmakers undecided on the nominee boosted his confirmation chances by signaling they believed the Federal Bureau of Investigation had done a thorough probe.

Most Democrats opposed Mr Trump's nomination of Mr Kavanaugh from the outset.

If the procedural vote passes, the Senate could move to a final vote as early as Saturday, one month before the November 6 midterm elections.

Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, wants to finish reading the report before he makes a decision, his spokesman told the Denver Post.

Kavanaugh admitted that he became "too emotional" and said things he shouldn't have. Democrat Joe Manchin voted for cloture, which meant that Vice President Pence did not have to be brought in to break a tie. They noted in the letter, seen by Reuters, that they were "limited" in what they could say about the background investigation in a public setting.

If the count on Kavanaugh ends up being tight, that might force GOP leaders to keep the voting open for longer than expected, perhaps until late Saturday or Sunday (local time).