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Kavanaugh displayed 'raw partisanship' in defense against Ford accusation, Durbin says

Kavanaugh displayed 'raw partisanship' in defense against Ford accusation, Durbin says

Senator Collins ended hopes she would side with Democrats in the final vote, telling fellow senators she did not believe the "charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".

Democrats railed against the nomination in Senate floor speeches Friday night and Saturday morning, and protests opposing Kavanaugh are expected throughout the day on Saturday.

"What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, said before the vote.

Her allegation came a week after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford claimed that Kavanaugh pinned her down and covered her mouth to hide her screams as he grinded on her and attempted to remove her one-piece bathing suit.

"Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capital [sic] Hill in preparation for a 3-5 P.M.", Trump tweeted. But the case against Kavanaugh had long since been taken over by allegations that he sexually abused women decades ago - accusations he emphatically denied.

In a dramatic Friday morning vote, the Senate moved to end debate on the Kavanaugh nomination and advance to a final confirmation vote, which could take place as soon as Saturday. Patty Murray, D-Wash., implored Senators against confirming Kavanaugh, saying it would send the wrong message to victims of sexual assault. On Thursday 302 people were arrested and charged with unlawfully demonstrating inside the Senate complex. White House officials have said Kavanaugh would be sworn in swiftly. With Republicans clinging to a two-vote majority, one Republican voted to stop the nomination, one Democrat to send it further. Several other undecided senators Republicans needed to move Kavanaugh's nomination forward said they felt the same way, forcing President Donald Trump to order an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe last Friday.

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Those passions were on full display this week in a fight that could energize both parties' voters in elections for control of Congress just five weeks away.

Asked about the #MeToo movement and her husband's recent comments about its potential impact on men, first lady Melania Trump weighed in on Kavanaugh's controversial nomination before Saturday's vote. She specifically dismissed the accusations made by Julie Swetnick as "outlandish" (despite the fact that Swetnick was questioned by neither the Senate nor the FBI).

Murkowski had been one of a handful of pivotal senators who remained publicly undecided on the nomination in the days leading up to Friday's vote. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is opposed, but says she will vote "present" as a courtesy to another Republican who will be absent for his daughter's wedding.

Democrats have slammed the investigation as not complete or thorough.

Last week, Dr Christine Blasey Ford testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, accusing her former schoolmate Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

"The President nominated a jurist who has been described by legal peers of all political stripes as a superstar", McConnell said, later adding that "Judge Brett Kavanaugh is among the very best our nation has to offer".