Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the key questions in the confirmation vote of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and key swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement Friday morning indicating his support Kavanaugh according to Slate.
In the statement, Flake said that while he found Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony “compelling,” he felt her testimony was met with a “persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh.” He also said he doesn’t have the “confidence” of some of his Senate colleagues “about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s.”
“What I do know,” the statement says, “is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well.”
“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” Flake’s statement said.
With Flake locked in as a yes vote, the Judiciary Committee will likely clear the way for a full Senate vote for Kavanaugh to be approved as the newest Supreme Court justice over the weekend.
The only two remaining stumbling blocks for Kavanaugh’s approval are Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Both would need to vote no with the Democrats for Kavanaugh’s approval to be blocked. Neither has indicated which way they would vote as of yet.
Women confront Sen. Jeff Flake after he says he'll vote yes to Kavanuagh: “That’s what you’re telling all women in America, that they don’t matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you’re just going to help that man to power anyway.” pic.twitter.com/T7fSpyT69E— CNN (@CNN) September 28, 2018
After news of his support for Kavanaugh broke, Flake was confronted by survivors of sexual assault after his made his announcement of support for Kavanaugh in a gut-wrenching video.
“Don’t look away from me!” one woman yelled. Another pleaded with Flake to justify voting in favor of someone accused of sexual assault, as Kavanaugh has been.
Flake declined to answer any of those women.
Flake’s decision is huge Senate Republican leaders who have been working tirelessly to push ahead with Kavanaugh’s nomination despite the allegations against him. This clears the way for the Senate Judiciary Committee to meet and vote on Kavanagh’s nomination at 1:30 p.m.
Flake is not seeking re-election and has already announced his plans to retire from the Senate at the end of his term in January.
Flake was vague with what he told reporters yesterday after spending hours listening to testimony from both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford.
“This isn’t easy for anybody,” he told reporters on Thursday evening. “There’s more doubt than certainty moving ahead.”