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Ben Sasse is a ‘lean-yes’ for Kavanaugh; Grassley, Ernst and Fischer pledge support

October 5, 2018

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ben Sasse was officially in the leaning yes column ahead of Friday’s key vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Nebraska Republican had to leave Washington for a few hours to attend to an “urgent matter” Thursday but planned to return Thursday evening, spokesman James Wegmann said in a statement.

“He has long been and remains at lean yes,” Wegmann said. “He’s spent well over 150 hours doing his homework, and he pledged to fully review the information in the new FBI report before announcing his vote. Like he said last night, he rejects the left’s cynical play to use the #MeToo movement for political gain.”

Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Kavanaugh drunkenly attacked her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh testified as well, denying Ford’s and other allegations.

A member of the Judiciary Committee, Sasse voted to advance the nomination to the full Senate.

He gave a passionate floor speech Wednesday night criticizing partisans and cable news for creating a circus around the nomination.

Other Midlands senators were lining up solidly behind the nomination on the eve of a procedural vote .

Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, all Republicans, said they had reviewed the results of a supplemental FBI investigation into the assault allegations against Kavanaugh and found no corroboration.

Grassley said at a press conference that he expects Kavanaugh to be confirmed in the next couple of days and defended his work to review the allegations as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We have had a fair and thorough process,” Grassley said.

Grassley faulted top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer for putting the process on a downhill slope.

“And they just about destroyed a good person to be on the Supreme Court,” Grassley said. “So hopefully, we’re 48 hours away from having a new person on the Supreme Court.”

Fischer announced that her support for the nomination continues after seeing the FBI report.

“From the beginning, I have supported Judge Kavanaugh because he is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” Fischer said in a press release. “Today, I reviewed the FBI report, and there continues to be no corroboration or evidence that he was involved in any misconduct. I look forward to voting for him later this week.”

The Kavanaugh nomination has become an intense political rallying cry on both sides of the aisle. Democrats have criticized the FBI investigation as incomplete and accused Republicans of rushing the nomination through.

Nebraska Democrat Jane Raybould, who is running against Fischer, criticized the incumbent senator Thursday for “blind party loyalty” in supporting the nomination.

Raybould said she’ll be attending a Rally for Nebraska’s Women event in Omaha on Saturday morning.

“Sen. Fischer sided with her party, never once pausing to consider the evidence or its ramifications,” Raybould said in a statement.

Ernst joined with fellow Republicans in backing the judge.

“I am confident that the professionals at the FBI conducted an investigation in accordance with the agency’s standard procedures and that Sen. Grassley and his staff have conducted a fair and appropriate process,” Ernst said in a statement. “It is clear that the seventh nonpartisan FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh found no new information, no corroboration of any allegations and no indication of misconduct. My support for Judge Kavanaugh remains strong.”

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