Kasich: Senate 'needs to hold' on Kavanaugh confirmation

Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 18:49:48-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday cautioned the United States Senate against voting to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court without a "complete and thorough investigation" of the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

"In the best interest of our country and the integrity of the court, the Senate needs to hold on this confirmation," Kasich wrote in a news release. "Without an investigation, and with so many serious issues involved, I can't support this nomination if they choose to move forward."

Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second nominee to the nation's highest court, could cement a conservative tilt to the Supreme Court for decades to come if confirmed. However, he faced three separate allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by Wednesday night. Only two Republican senators would need to side against him to end his candidacy in a vote before the full Senate, and at least one -- Maine Sen. Susan Collins -- has reportedly "raised concerns" in meetings with her peers.

His first accuser, Stanford professor Christine Blasey Ford, said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, attempted to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream during a high school party in the early 1980s. Ford will testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold a vote on whether to proceed with Kavanaugh's nomination the following morning.

The second, Deborah Ramirez, told New Yorker reporters Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale University party during their freshman year. According to Fox News, she has expressed willingness to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but no formal arrangements have been made.

The third, Julie Swetnick, did not claim to have been personally attacked by Kavanaugh but to have observed him "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women" at house parties they attended in the ‘80s. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, also represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battle with President Trump. 

As a governor, Kasich has no official input in the confirmation process. He has, however, consistently attempted to position himself as a conservative figurehead separate from the Trump-aligned voices in Washington. 

In a Wednesday night news conference that lasted over an hour, President Trump backed away from previous comments claiming that Ford and her parents would have immediately reported the alleged assault if it really happened. He continued to insist, however, that the allegations were "a big, fat con job."