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McConnell on Kavanaugh fight: 'We're going to plow right through it and do our job'

Friday morning at the Values Voter Summit, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court despite the smear tactics from Democratic senators.

“President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You've watched the fight, you've watched 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,” McConnell said.

"So, my friends, keep the faith, don't get rattled by all of this. We're going to plow right through it and do our job," he continued.

Senate Democrats are demanding an FBI investigation into claims made by Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago when they were both teenagers. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said an outside investigation is not necessary.

Grassley gave Ford a Friday morning deadline to respond to a request to testify in Congress, in a private or open setting. Ford's lawyers have responded with a list of demands to be met as preconditions to Senate testimony.

CBS News reports the demands include:

  • Ford will not appear any sooner than next Thursday;
  • No questions to be asked at hearing by any outside counsel — only by senators;
  • Mark Judge [an alleged witness to her allegations] must be subpoenaed;
  • Kavanaugh would testify first, then Ford would testify, and Kavanaugh would have no opportunity to respond or rebut;
  • The Friday deadline for her to provide a written statement before the hearing would be waived;
  • Provide adequate security;
  • Only one pool camera in hearing room;
  • Ford and Kavanaugh allotted the same amount of time to talk.

A senior staffer told the Washington Times that some of these demands are a "nonstarter."

“The committee doesn’t issue subpoenas in the process of considering nominations — that is a nonstarter. Other alleged witnesses have made clear they have no intention of testifying,” the senior staffer told The Times. “It only makes sense for the accused to respond to the charges so Judge Kavanaugh would surely follow Dr. Ford.”

As of now, there is no official response from the Senate Judiciary Committee to Ford's demands. But for McConnell to keep his pledge, a vote on Kavanaugh will happen with a hearing or without one.

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