WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Flake said Friday that he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh — a decision that likely ensures Kavanaugh will receive a favorable recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“After hearing more than 30 hours of testimony from Judge Kavanaugh earlier this month, I was prepared to support his nomination based on his view of the law and his record as a judge. In fact, I commented at the time that had he been nominated in another era, he would have likely received 90+ votes,” Flake (R-Ariz.) said in a statement.
Flake went on say: “I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
Flake was the sole holdout among the 11 Republicans on the committee. The committee’s 10 Democrats have said they will oppose Kavanaugh.
Flake’s announcement came just minutes before the committee gaveled in for morning business. The committee voted to consider the nomination at approximately 1:30 p.m.
En route to the hearing, Flake was cornered in an elevator and heckled by two female protesters who said they had been sexually assaulted, CNN reported. As Flake huddled in the corner of the elevator and looked down, one of the women tearfully implored: “Don’t look away from me! Look at me and tell me that what happened to me doesn’t matter! ”
On Thursday, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford told the committee she is “one hundred percent” sure Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s.
“Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming,” Ford testified.
Later in the day, Kavanaugh told the committee the allegation is false.
“That’s not who I am. It is not who I was. I am innocent of this charge,” he testified.
A visibly angry Kavanaugh lambasted the committee, saying: “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace.”
Flake said in his statement that he found both testimonies to be compelling and left the hearing “with as much doubt as certainty.”
Kavanaugh is accused of misconduct by two other women. He has denied the allegations
A nomination can be sent to the floor with an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation at all.