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

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal Google sparks new privacy fears over health care data 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 CollinsLawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges GOP senators warn against Trump firing intelligence community official MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Senators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal MORE (R-Alaska), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinFormer coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE (D-W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D-N.D.).

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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 McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) said the Senate will “be voting this week.”

Updated at 12:36 p.m.