Joe Donnelly announces ‘no’ vote on Brett Kavanaugh
Another vulnerable red-state Democrat came out Friday against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Sen. Joe Donnelly announced that he won’t vote for Judge Kavanaugh because of the 36-year-old sexual assault allegation and the lack of another FBI investigation into the claim.
“As I have made clear before, sexual assault has no place in our society,” the Indiana Democrat said in a statement. When it does occur, we should listen to the survivors and work to ensure it never happens again. That should not be a partisan issue.”
Mr. Donnelly, who is running for re-election in a state President Trump won by 19 points in 2016, said he approached the matter in a nonpartisan way and noted that he voted for Mr. Trump’s first Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Republican challenger Mike Braun said the announcement demonstrated Mr. Donnelly chose liberal Democratic leaders over Indiana voters.
“This entire process has been an embarrassment to our democracy as Hoosiers watched firsthand how Senator Donnelly’s liberal colleagues used uncorroborated allegations to create a media circus designed to smear and destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation,” Mr. Braun said. “Donnelly’s decision to oppose President Trump’s highly qualified nominee is a grave mistake, but proves he is more concerned with standing with his liberal Democrat leaders than standing for Hoosiers. I continue to strongly support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.”
Mr. Donnelly is the second Democrat running for re-election in a state Mr. Trump easily won in 2016 to come out against Judge Kavanaugh.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, announced her opposition before the hearing Thursday where California psychologist and university professor Christine Blasey Ford gave emotional testimony that Judge Kavanaugh forced himself on her at a high school party when she was 15 and he was 17.
At the hearing, Judge Kavanaugh vehemently denied his involvement in any case of sexual harassment.
Democrats insisted that another FBI investigation was needed to explore the allegation.
Republicans called it a stalling tactic.
“My job as a senator is to gather as much information as I can to make the best-informed decision,” Mr. Donnelly said. “The allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh are disturbing and credible. In the interest of getting as much information as possible, I believe the allegations should be investigated by the FBI.”
He said he had “deep reservations” about Judge Kavanaugh but would “gladly welcome the opportunity to work with President Trump on a new nominee for this critically important position.”