Senate

Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday for comments he made regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Jones criticized remarks McConnell made at the conservative Values Voter Summit the previous day about allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman in high school.

"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 ... Don't get rattled by all of this. We're going to plow right through it and do our job," McConnell said.

Jones, a former U.S. attorney, said the comment showed McConnell already made his decision despite Republicans saying they want Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's accuser, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I'm a former US Attorney. If a judge/juror made a public statement that their mind was made up before all testimony is in, the trial would be prejudiced & I'd move for mistrial & have the judge removed. Mr. Leader, is this the message we want to send to victims of sexual assault?" Jones tweeted Saturday afternoon.

"The last time I read the Constitution, it said our role was to advise and consent, not to 'plow right through' the confirmation process. If you believe that, then any hearing this week is simply perfunctory. You've made up your mind and Dr. Ford's testimony has no bearing," he added.

Ford went public on Sunday with allegations that Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her and tried to remove her clothes at a high school party in the 1980s and used his hand to muffle her screams. She has been in negotiations with the Senate Judiciary Committee to arrange her public testimony.

Ford's attorney sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee staff saying she agreed to testify next week

Jones, who won a special election last year, is considered a swing vote. He has not yet declared how he will vote but has called on the FBI to investigate Ford's allegations.

Jones is not up for reelection until 2020, unlike some other red state Democrats who are running this year, such as Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).

Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and can only afford one defection if the Democratic caucus unanimously oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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