Even as more women come forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, certain Republican leaders in the Senate are pushing harder than ever to try to hurry up and confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But this evening Republican Senator Susan Collins has dealt a severe blow to those efforts. We wouldn’t categorize this as a death blow to the nomination, but Collins certainly just delivered a gut punch.
Susan Collins is now calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to allow Deborah Ramirez, who went public last night with her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, to testify. She made these statements to a gathering of reporters including CNN. Collins went on to state that Ramirez shouldn’t be asked to testify this Thursday, because more time would be needed to prepare for the testimony. This would mean, by default, yet another delay in the Kavanaugh committee hearings. There is a reason why this is a big deal.
Last night Michael Avenatti revealed that he’s now representing a woman who is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of gang rape. This afternoon, Avenatti stated that this woman, whose name is still not public, will do a television interview by this Wednesday. Avenatti says he’s been trying to convince the Senate Judiciary Committee to allow his client to testify. Now that Collins is calling for Ramirez to testify, it opens the door for Avenatti’s client to also testify, which would mean even more delays.
There’s a reason Republican Senate leaders like Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch are trying to move forward as quickly as possible. Every delay gives more time for even more accusers to come forward. Each new accuser who comes forward lays the groundwork for yet more accusers to feel safe coming forward. The GOP knows it can’t confirm Brett Kavanaugh if Susan Collins and her close ally Lisa Murkowski aren’t willing to vote for him. By calling for another witness to testify and another delay in the proceedings, Collins is making it that much harder for Kavanaugh to make it to the finish line – and yet the GOP essentially has to give in to her demands.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report