AP NEWS

Casey Still No On Kavanaugh, Toomey Still Yes

September 28, 2018

U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey watched the riveting testimony Thursday on U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but didn’t change their minds.

Casey, a Democrat, said he will still vote no on confirming Kavanaugh. Toomey, a Republican, remained a yes vote.

During a meeting Friday with The Times-Tribune editorial board, Casey called for an FBI background check into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Only that kind of check would prove adequately thorough, he said.

“I believe her testimony, I think she’s very credible, both credible and persuasive,” Casey said. “And when you add up what brings them to that table yesterday, she has nothing to gain and everything to lose. I think it’s debatable what the judge has to gain or lose.”

Casey said Kavanaugh stunned him by failing to immediately call for an FBI background check to clear his name.

“It was just this dodge, ‘Well, it’s not my call,’ it’s ridiculous,” he said.

Casey said he has no regrets about opposing President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy even before Trump actually nominated Kavanaugh. Casey previously said he couldn’t vote for any Trump nominee because Trump, in “a corrupt bargain,” let the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation screen nominees.

He said Kavanaugh, who helped investigate President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case, showed his political stripes Thursday by portraying himself as the victim of a Democratic conspiracy.

“He’s been immersed in political combat for a long time and I think a lot of that came out,” Casey said.

He dismissed suggestions Democrats conspired to smear Kavanaugh, noting Ford began considering coming forward when Kavanaugh’s nomination remained only a possibility.

In a written statement, Toomey commended Kavanaugh and Ford for testifying during a “shamefully politicized process.”

“I found Dr. Ford’s testimony to be sincere and moving, but lacking important specifics. Judge Kavanaugh’s repeated and unequivocal denial was also sincere and very persuasive,” Toomey said. “In addition, Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony has been corroborated and Dr. Ford’s testimony has not. All of the witnesses she claimed were present, including her lifelong friend, either failed to corroborate or refuted her testimony.”

Allegations by other women against Kavanaugh “are either completely unsubstantiated or preposterous,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, the Republican running against Casey for the Senate, said he would vote for Kavanaugh if he were a senator, calling him “more than qualified.”

Ford’s allegations could have been dealt with privately much earlier, he said.

“I believe that Dr. Ford was used a political pawn by the Senate Democrats to try to delay and destroy Brett Kavanaugh,” he said. “Instead, they waited for a gotcha moment ... I think it’s disgusting and embarrassing for the Senate to have done that to these people.”

He believes “something happened to Dr. Ford,” he said.

“I don’t believe that Brett Kavanaugh had anything to do with it. She had no witnesses who would corroborate what she said. There was no credible information. She didn’t know where it happened, she didn’t know when it happened.”

Contact the writer: bkrawczeniuk@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9147; @BorysBlogTT on Twitter

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