Flake on ‘sharp and partisan’ Kavanaugh remarks: 'We can’t have this on the court'

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHow fast population growth made Arizona a swing state Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday expressed concerns over what he called Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s “sharp and partisan” exchanges with Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing last week, saying "we can't have this on the court." 

“The initial defense that Judge Kavanaugh gave was something like I told my wife, I hoped that I would sound that indignant if I felt that I was unjustly maligned. But then it went on, and the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan and that concerns me,” Flake said at The Atlantic Festival.


“I tell myself give a little leeway because of what he’s been through, but on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court,” he added.

The comments follow those Flake made on CBS’s “60 Minutes” this past weekend in which he said, “I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee gathered Thursday to hear testimonies from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Ford was the first of three women to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while he was in high school and college.

She claimed that Ford sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982.

Kavanaugh has denied all three women’s allegations.

Ford appeared first Thursday, offering a tearful testimony recounting the attack and said she was “100 percent” certain Kavanaugh was the one who assaulted her.

Kavanaugh then offered a fiery defense of himself, admitting to drinking beer in high school but never blacking out and sounding combative with multiple Democratic senators, including asking Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSocial media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates MORE (D-Minn.) if she had ever blacked out from drinking after she asked him that same question. 

The committee voted along party lines 11-10 to pass Kavanaugh’s nomination on to a Senate-wide confirmation vote.

However, Flake then threatened to withhold his full Senate confirmation vote unless the FBI investigated the allegations against Kavanaugh. He was soon joined by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsClub for Growth to spend million in ads for Trump Supreme Court nominee Maryland's GOP governor says Republicans shouldn't rush SCOTUS vote before election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiClub for Growth to spend million in ads for Trump Supreme Court nominee Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  Maryland's GOP governor says Republicans shouldn't rush SCOTUS vote before election MORE (R-Alaska), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin defends Supreme Court candidate Barrett: 'It's awful to bring in religion' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, GOP allies prepare for SCOTUS nomination this week Trump meets with potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett at White House MORE (D-W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHarris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (D-N.D.).

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE requested the FBI reopen an inquiry into the claims against Kavanaugh. Trump has reportedly told the FBI to interview anyone it deemed necessary

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFEC flags McConnell campaign over suspected accounting errors Poll: 59 percent think president elected in November should name next Supreme Court justice Mark Kelly: Arizona Senate race winner should be sworn in 'promptly' MORE (R-Ky.) said the Senate will “be voting this week.”

Updated at 12:36 p.m.