North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp revealed Monday that she was initially prepared to support confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but decided to change her vote after watching him during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing of sexual assault allegations.
Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and trying to remove her clothing at a party in high school, delivered her testimony of events Sept. 27, after which Kavanaugh denied he was involved before the Senate panel.
“I had the office preparer begin to prepare a statement saying that I was voting for him,” Heitkamp said in an interview with CNN. “Up until that hearing. It [changed everything] for me.”
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was ready to vote “yes” on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Then she watched him with the sound off. https://t.co/lcgBGP7dqH pic.twitter.com/ThLGACVZSO
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 9, 2018
Heitkamp announced her opposition to Kavanaugh following the release of the FBI report to the Senate on its supplemental background investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct more than 35 years ago. The report concluded investigators could find no corroboration of the allegations made against Kavanaugh. (RELATED: Alaska GOP Is Weighing Options On Murkowski After Kavanaugh Vote Sparks Outrage)
“When considering a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, we must evaluate the totality of the circumstances and record before us,” Heitkamp said in her statement. “In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday’s hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh’s current temperament, honesty, and impartiality. These are critical traits for any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country.”
The North Dakota senator took umbrage with Kavanaugh’s heated defense of himself during his testimony, where he called the confirmation process a “national disgrace” and fired back at Democratic senators.
“We communicate not only with words, but we communicate with body language, we communicate with demeanor,” Heitkamp continued. “I saw somebody who was very angry, very nervous and I saw rage.”
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