Senate Republicans held a closed-door meeting Thursday night to determine where everyone in the caucus was on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
After meeting, the GOP senators said that they will move ahead on trying to confirm Kavanaugh.
The GOP senators said that the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet Friday morning to consider the nomination. They are expected to vote to confirm Kavanaugh and forward the nomination to the full Senate. The Senate could vote on Kavanaugh as early as Saturday.
“The sooner we vote, the better,” said U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.
On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate claiming that when they were teenagers at a party, a drunken Kavanaugh tried to remove her swimsuit with no success.
Kavanaugh denies ever even meeting Ms. Ford and claimed his innocence.
“I’m here today to tell the truth,” Kavanaugh told the Senate. “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Kavanaugh ripped pro-abortion Senate Democrats for turning the confirmation process into a circus.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” Kavanaugh said. “The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process. But you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.”
“Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired,” Kavanaugh said. “There has been a frenzy to come up with something, anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious, that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minute smears, pure and simple. They debase our public discourse. And the consequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination, if allowed to succeed, will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham had a notable speech defending Kavanaugh and attacking Senate Democrats.
“Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it,” Graham said. “I hope the American people can see through this sham.”
“This is outrageous, internally inconsistent, and I hope the U.S. Senate will see this for the smear campaign that it is,” Sen. Graham said in a statement. “It is outrageous to suggest that Brett Kavanaugh at any time in his life behaved this way. His life is inconsistent with any of these allegations. All women who have worked with and for Brett Kavanaugh when he was in a position of power have nothing but glowing things to say about the way he has conducted himself.”
“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” President Donald J. Trump said on Twitter. “His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”
Responding to calls from the left that he withdraw, Kavanaugh said, “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out.”
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would be President Trump’s second selection to the nation’s highest court. He chose Neal Gorsuch in 2017.
Senator Shelby is expected to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Senator Doug Jones, D-Ala., said Thursday that he will vote against confirming Kavanaugh.
“The Kavanaugh nomination process has been flawed from the beginning and incomplete at the end,” Sen. Jones said in a statement. “Dr. Ford was credible and courageous and I am concerned about the message our vote will be sending to our sons and daughters, as well as victims of sexual assault. I will be voting no.”
Jones has called for a delay in the process in order the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct a full investigation of Kavanaugh’s conduct in the 1980s, while in high school.
(Original reporting by the Washington Post, Fox News, and WBRC Fox 6 contributed to this report.)