This may be the least surprising announcement in the history of unsurprising announcements. Reuters reports that Sen. Dianne Feinstein has announced this Friday is too soon for a vote on Judge Kavanaugh:
JUST IN: Top Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein says Friday Senate vote on Kavanaugh would be too soon pic.twitter.com/YuKXNFCerG
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) October 2, 2018
Senator Hatch’s office was stunned by the unanticipated turn of events:
You don’t say.https://t.co/Bo7h0NsOKx
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) October 2, 2018
Last week when Jeff Flake announced, after being confronted in an elevator by two activists, that he wanted a week-long delay in the vote in order to allow for the FBI to re-open its background check on Kavanaugh, it was immediately obvious this was the next move Democrats would make. The only thing surprising about this is that Feinstein is trying to delay this on Tuesday rather than waiting for Thursday night to claim a delay is necessary.
Yesterday, Mitch McConnell himself made the case that Democrats are seeking one delay after another to push this beyond the election. He concluded by saying that the delays would end because the vote on Kavanaugh would happen this week.
But the people really driving this now aren’t McConnell or Feinstein, they are the same three Senators who agreed to the current delay: Flake, Murkowski, and Collins. So where are they on the possibility of extending this beyond Friday?
Sen. Flake may or may not be a bit wobbly on Kavanaugh but he doesn’t seem to be pushing to extend the investigation. As Allahpundit noted earlier today, Sen. Collins seemed to be pushing to expand the FBI investigation to look into all the claims made by Julie Swetnick. It’s not clear if that will happen but President Trump did leave the door open to such a move yesterday during his press conference.
However, the Associated Press reported a short while ago that Sens. Murkowski and Collins both said they were satisfied with the pacing and scope at this point (while also noting they are in control of the timing of the final vote):
Asked about McConnell pledge to move forward with the vote, Murkowski told The Associated Press that McConnell “talked about a vote a last week, too.”
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another undecided Republican, was riding with Murkowski on an underground Senate train. Collins smiled and told her colleague, “Good answer.”
Murkowski and Collins both say they are satisfied with the scope and pace of the FBI’s probe.
The FBI will conclude this expanded investigation tomorrow or Thursday and then, according to both Grassley and Feinstein, the results will be available to all 100 Senators but will not be released to the public. That means we’ll have a flurry of leaks from Democrats looking for another delay or a withdrawal of the nomination. There will also be an influx of protesters looking for another Jeff Flake moment.
I’m not going to predict what the outcome will be because with stakes this high almost anything seems possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone call in a bomb threat to stop the vote. These are desperate hours for pro-choice Democrats. Be ready for anything.