Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called in Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership team Monday to devise a strategy to push through Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite the credible sexual assault allegation against him.
According to a Monday Politico report, McConnell never entertained the notion of pulling Kavanaugh’s nomination during the two-hour session, instead focusing on how to placate the different factions of his caucus.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is one of the Republicans McConnell will have to manage, as Flake told reporters on Monday: “Obviously, these are serious charges. And if they’re true, I think they’re disqualifying.”
Per Politico, McConnell is also trying to smooth over factors like Republicans’ anger that the accusation surfaced so near to the confirmation vote, President Donald Trump’s own multitude of accusations of sexual assault and the looming fear that the midterms see a blue wave so great that it wipes out the Republican majority in the Senate.
McConnell does have some backup plans if Kavanaugh is ultimately forced to drop out. He could shove through a different nominee during a lame-duck session, or keep the seat open during the midterms as a motivator for Republican voters.