Senate

Protesters confront Manchin: ‘How do you know how I’m going to vote’ on Kavanaugh

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a potential swing vote in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, was confronted by a protester who said she was a victim of sexual assault and demanded to know how he would vote.

“I don’t understand how you can’t look me in the eye,” the protester said, to which Manchin can be heard responding “I can,” in a video recorded by ABC News. 

{mosads}“Why are you going to vote ‘yes’ on this,” the protester asked Manchin.

Manchin has so far not indicated how he would vote.

“How do you know how I’m going to vote,” Manchin responded.

He said he wouldn’t tell her how he intended to vote since he hadn’t yet decided. He also said he was listening to survivors of sexual assault when asked “How are you not listening to us as survivors?” 

Manchin and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) have each not publicly stated how they intend to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

Kavanaugh’s confirmation process was upended after three women went public with allegations against him of sexual misconduct while he was in high school and college.

Flake, who was later joined by Collins, Murkowski and Manchin, forced the White House’s hand when he threatened to ultimately withhold his confirmation vote if the FBI didn’t open an inquiry into the accusations. 

The FBI returned the results of a nearly weeklong investigation into the allegations to the Senate on Thursday.

Many Senate Republicans claim there was no corroborating evidence for any of the claims against Kavanaugh and have vowed to confirm the nominee in a vote over the weekend.

Flake and Collins both noted after reading the report that they believed the FBI investigation was thorough, indicating they may be leaning toward voting to confirm Kavanaugh. 

Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate and can only afford one defection if Democrats unanimously vote against Kavanaugh. However, they would not need any Democratic votes if every GOP senator votes to confirm the nominee. 

Earlier Thursday, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) announced she would vote against Kavanaugh. Like Manchin, Heitkamp is facing a tough reelection race and voted to confirm President Trump’s previous nominee Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Manchin’s office declined to comment when contacted by The Hill.

Tags Donald Trump Heidi Heitkamp Jeff Flake Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Susan Collins

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