Four Democratic Senators walked out of the room where Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings are taking place, in protest of the committee’s refusal to hear testimony in the case from another witness, The Daily Beast is reporting.
The Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have been bogged down by allegations of sexual misconduct, principally from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in the 1980s. At least two other women have also come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as well.
Democrats are angling to have the nomination stalled until all possible angles have been examined, up to and including a full FBI investigation, while Republicans want to get Kavanaugh confirmed as quickly as possible.
On Friday, Democrats asked the committee to subpoena another witness whom they believe may have a relevant testimony. Mark Judge, according to The New York Times, was a high school classmate at the time of the alleged assault against Dr. Ford, and indeed, he is believed to have possibly been present at the time. However, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted not to subpoena Judge.
In protest, while chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was speaking, four Democratic Senators walked out. They are Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 28, 2018
Speaking to reporters, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accused Republicans of trying to rush through the nomination with only a modicum of investigation.
“This was not about ensuring a fair process. This was about doing the bare minimum.”
Similarly, Harris echoed the claim that Republicans are rushing the nomination.
“[Republicans are] pushing and pushing and ramming this thing through. Because they have the power, as opposed to the integrity, to say, ‘Let the American people know what’s about to happen.’… This is a failure of this body to do what is has always said it’s about: to be deliberative.”
As for Mark Judge, the Times reports that he’s basically in hiding, taking refuge in his Delaware beach house and only answering questions through his attorney. The conservative author and filmmaker has shut down his social media accounts.
Blasey has claimed that Judge was present when Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her.
“Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They seemed to be having a very good time. Mark seemed ambivalent, at times urging Brett on and at times telling him to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.”