There is high drama on Capitol Hill today as Republicans and at least one Democrat get ready to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Rumor has it that the Republicans have now secured enough votes to cement Kavanaugh’s nomination. It will be a razor-thin margin, but just enough. Yesterday, one Republican senator, in particular, threw the swamp into major chaos. It was glorious.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), an unlikely conservative warrior at best, gave a speech that just knocked my socks off. It was a constitutional originalist’s dream come true. I was incredibly impressed. This is a woman who has suffered vile, obscene and deadly threats in Maine if she dared to vote for Kavanaugh. She’s doing so anyway. Stephen King must be ticked. Good.
Collins thoroughly reviewed everything about Kavanaugh and all the evidence for and against him. The Senate held their breath as she took the floor. In the end, she threw her support behind SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And the protesters screeched over it. They interrupted her more than once and she appropriately ignored them.
Throughout one of the finest speeches ever given on that political floor, Collins made a number of points about what her vote meant and what it didn’t mean. This is a brave woman who researched Kavanaugh thoroughly and stood on her principles. Something you see very rarely in the Senate.
In a very lengthy, 40+-minute-long speech, Collins spoke out about the tradition of due process and the importance of the presumption of innocence. Two things that are sacrosanct in American politics and law. The left wants to do away with them… President Trump and the right are intent on reinstating and strengthening them.
Here is a partial transcript of Collins’ historic speech:
“Despite all this, after weeks of reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s record and listening to 32 hours of his testimony, the Senate’s advice and consent role was thrown into a tailspin following the allegations of sexual assault by Professor Christine Blasey Ford. The confirmation process now involves evaluating whether or not Judge Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, and lied about it to the Judiciary Committee.
“Some argue that because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. Others see the public interest as embodied in our long-established tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee.
“Mr. President, I understand both viewpoints. This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles—about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness—do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them.
“In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.
“The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record. I worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward.
“Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important. I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by Professor Ford, but of the allegation that, when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape. This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others. That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American consciousness.
“Mr. President, I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred; none of the individuals Professor Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night.
“Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. Mark Judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. PJ Smyth, another person allegedly at the party, denied that he was there under penalty of felony. Professor Ford’s life-long friend Leland Keyser indicated that, under penalty of felony, she does not remember that party. And Ms. Keyser went further. She indicated that not only does she not remember a night like that, but also that she does not even know Brett Kavanaugh.
“In addition to the lack of corroborating evidence, we also learned some facts that raised more questions. For instance, since these allegations have become public, Professor Ford testified that not a single person has contacted her to say, “I was at the party that night.”
“Furthermore, the professor testified that although she does not remember how she got home that evening, she knew that, because of the distance, she would have needed a ride – yet not a single person has come forward to say that they were the one that drove her home or were in the car with her that night. And Professor Ford also indicated that even though she left that small gathering of six or so people abruptly and without saying goodbye and distraught, none of them called her the next day – or ever – to ask why she left – is she okay – not even her closest friend, Ms. Keyser.
“Mr. President, the Constitution does not provide guidance as to how we are supposed to evaluate these competing claims. It leaves that decision up to each Senator. This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of “more likely than not” as our standard.
“The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night – or at some other time – but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the “more likely than not” standard. Therefore, I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court.
“Let me emphasize that my approach to this question should not be misconstrued as suggesting that unwanted sexual contact of any nature is not a serious problem in this country. To the contrary, if any good at all has come from this ugly confirmation process, it has been to create an awareness that we have underestimated the pervasiveness of this terrible problem.
“I have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is rejected, the Senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Every person—man or woman–who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect. The #MeToo movement is real. It matters. It is needed. And it is long overdue. We know that rape and sexual assault are less likely to be reported to the police than other forms of assault. On average, an estimated 211,000 rapes and sexual assaults go unreported every year. We must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many. We owe this to ourselves, our children, and generations to come.
“Since the hearing, I have listened to many survivors of sexual assault. Many were total strangers who told me their heart-wrenching stories for the first time in their lives. Some were friends I have known for decades, yet with the exception of one woman who had confided in me years ago, I had no idea that they had been the victims of sexual attacks. I am grateful for their courage and their willingness to come forward, and I hope that in heightening public awareness, they have also lightened the burden that they have been quietly bearing for so many years. To them, I pledge to do all that I can to ensure that their daughters and granddaughters never share their experiences.
“Over the past few weeks, I have been emphatic that the Senate has an obligation to investigate and evaluate the serious allegations of sexual assault. I called for and supported the additional hearing to hear from both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. I also pushed for and supported the FBI supplemental background investigation. This was the right thing to do.
“Christine Ford never sought the spotlight. She indicated that she was terrified to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she has shunned attention since then. She seemed completely unaware of Chairman Grassley’s offer to allow her to testify confidentially in California. Watching her, Mr. President, I could not help but feel that some people who wanted to engineer the defeat of this nomination cared little, if at all, for her well-being.
“Professor Ford testified that a very limited number of people had access to her letter. Yet that letter found its way into the public domain. She testified that she never gave permission for that very private letter to be released. And yet, here we are. We are in the middle of a fight that she never sought, arguing about claims that she wanted to raise confidentially.
“One theory I have heard espoused repeatedly is that our colleague, Senator Feinstein, leaked Professor Ford’s letter at the eleventh hour to derail this process. I want to state this very clearly: I know Senator Diane Feinstein extremely well, and I believe that she would never do that. I knew that to be the case before she even stated it at the hearing. She is a person of integrity, and I stand by her.
“I have also heard some argue that the Chairman of the Committee somehow treated Professor Ford unfairly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chairman Grassley, along with his excellent staff, treated Professor Ford with compassion and respect throughout the entire process. And that is the way the Senator from Iowa has conducted himself throughout a lifetime dedicated to public service.”
You can hear the full speech in the video below. It is well worth a listen. Collins made history yesterday and, God-willing, Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed today to the Supreme Court.
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Newly Released Emails Confirm FBI Tried To Work Deal With State Dept To Minimize Hillary Email Scandal
The insanity never seems to end and once again the great Judicial Watch is doing Congress’ oversight job! It’s time arrests start happening.
Newly released FBI emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request confirm that James Comey’s FBI attempted to work out a quid pro quo deal with the Obama State Department to help cover up the Hillary Clinton private email server scandal just weeks before the 2016 election.
Back in October 15, 2016, Fox News first reported on the deal but full confirmation did not come until this week when the government watchdog group Judicial Watch released FBI communication related to the deal.
“FBI interview summaries and notes, provided late Friday to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees, contain allegations of a ‘quid pro quo’ between a senior State Department executive and FBI agents during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, two congressional sources told Fox News,” Herridge and Browne reported in 2016. “This is a flashing red light of potential criminality,” Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) told Fox News at the time. “In return for altering the classification, the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas was discussed,” he said.
Fox News reported on Monday that over two years later, the allegation that the FBI and State Department floated a “quid pro quo” deal has now been confirmed, and it originated with the FBI:
The trove of documents turned over by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit by the transparency group Judicial Watch, also included discussions by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page concerning a potential quid pro quo between the State Department and the FBI — in which the FBI would agree to effectively hide the fact that a Clinton email was classified in exchange for more legal attache positions that would benefit the FBI abroad, and allow them to send more agents to countries where the FBI’s access is ordinarily restricted.
The quid pro quo would have involved the FBI providing some other public reason for withholding the Clinton email from disclosure amid a Freedom of Information Act request, besides its classification level. There are no indications the proposed arrangement ever took place.
And, in the face of mounting criticism aimed at the FBI, the documents revealed that Comey quoted the 19th century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson by assuring his subordinates, “To be great is to be misunderstood.”
The FBI did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the released emails.
Read the full report via Fox News
WATCH: Trump Slams Pelosi On Wall, Kneeling NFL Players In Pre-Super Bowl Interview
In President Trump’s pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS News, he slammed Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the wall, as well as NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem. He was in fine form. He nailed Pelosi at the beginning of the interview and then took on the NFL and kneeling at the 15:40 mark. Trump also took extreme exception with those who are second-guessing his decision to pull American troops out of both Syria and Afghanistan.
In the interview, Trump also briefly discussed football. He said he would not push his son Barron to play the game, knowing the risk of long term brain injury. He also pointed out that soccer is becoming more popular as a sport.
But it’s his flaying of Pelosi that was riveting. President Trump referred to Nancy Pelosi as “very rigid” and intimated that he may sidestep Congress to get the wall built by declaring a national emergency. Rumor has it that an executive order is ready and awaiting his signature. At least Trump didn’t call Pelosi “frigid” although that certainly came to mind.
“I think that [Pelosi] was very rigid — which I would expect — but I think she is very bad for our country,” Trump told reporter Margaret Brennan. “She knows that you need a barrier. She knows that we need border security. She wanted to win a political point. I happen to think it’s very bad politics because basically, she wants open borders. She doesn’t mind human trafficking or she wouldn’t do this.”
“She can keep playing her games, but we will win. Because we have a much better issue. On a political basis, what she’s doing is — I actually think it’s bad politics, but much more importantly it’s very bad for our country,” he stated.
“You know, there have been plenty of national emergencies called,” Trump explained. “And this really is an invasion of our country by human traffickers.”
Trump wasn’t anywhere near done. She “doesn’t mind human trafficking,” Trump added, torching Pelosi very nicely.
From The Daily Wire:
“As for the kneeling NFL players, Trump believes the recent boost in NFL ratings proves he was right that anti-racism protests were souring Americans on professional football. Trump also believes he’s made progress handling some NFL players’ complaints. “A lot of people in the NFL have been calling and thanking me,” he said, referring to his part in efforts to reform the criminal justice system and grant clemency to a number of federal prisoners serving long sentences for drug crimes.
“You have to respect our flag and our country. I want that as president and I’d want that as a citizen. And I have a very good relationship. I did them a big favor in negotiating the USMCA, which is basically the replacement to NAFTA, which is one of the worst trade deals ever made,” Trump said. “And Roger Goodell, this is a dispute that has gone on for years. Roger Goodell called me and he thanked me.”
“In a final interview, which aired just before the game, Trump touted his plan to withdraw American military forces from Syria and Afghanistan, noting that the United States’ commitment to the two countries won’t be dimmed by a change in troop presence.
“We’ll come back if we have to,” Trump said.
“We have very fast airplanes, we have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I’m not leaving,” Trump added, hammering in the possibility that American troops could easily re-deploy to the region. “We have a base in Iraq and the base is a fantastic edifice. I mean I was there recently, and I couldn’t believe the money that was spent on these massive runways. And these — I’ve rarely seen anything like it. And it’s there. And we’ll be there. And frankly, we’re hitting the caliphate from Iraq and as we slowly withdraw from Syria.”‘
This isn’t the first time President Trump has given an interview before the Super Bowl. He’s done it a number of times now. His State of the Union Address this week promises surprises but will also touch on these issues.