Ohio Democrat Brown: McConnell 'afraid,' rushing vote

Posted at 2:06 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 15:02:15-04

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio's Democratic U.S. senator said Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rushing the Supreme Court confirmation process because he fears more negative publicity will surface about the nominee.

Sherrod Brown said the Republican from neighboring Kentucky is "afraid that other things come out" about Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brown said the FBI probe this week doesn't sound like it's going to be thorough.

The FBI has been probing Kavanaugh's background again after last week's contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which heard testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when both were teens.

"McConnell obviously is in a hurry to get this done," Brown said. "... So McConnell is not doing this the way that any real investigation should be done, and I think people are pretty upset by it."

McConnell has said that Democrats have been trying to "move the goal posts" for Kavanaugh's confirmation. He said Tuesday that senators will have the opportunity to vote for Kavanaugh and against "the politics of personal destruction."

Ohio's Republican senator, Rob Portman, supports Kavanaugh for the nation's highest court.

Brown said that women have reached out to his office and to him directly to recount their experiences with sexual assault. He didn't share any details.

He spoke in a conference call with reporters ahead of a women's leadership forum Saturday at Xavier University in Cincinnati that features Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California. She is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who's considered a potential 2020 presidential candidate, and Harris has several events planned this weekend in the swing state of Ohio.

Brown, seeking a third term this year against President Donald Trump-backed U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, has also been mentioned as a possible national-ticket candidate for the Democrats.