Missouri’s incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Wednesday she will vote against Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. She is citing his positions on “dark money” issues.
McCaskill said in a statement that the recent sexual assault allegations against him are “troubling and deserve a thorough and fair examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee.” But McCaskill added that she made her decision based on his positions on campaign finance issues, saying he’ll give “free reign” to anonymous donors and foreign governments to interfere with and influence elections.
McCaskill did not bring up the “dark money” that her own campaign relies upon for state-wide television ads attacking her opponent.
“It is his allegiance to the position that unlimited donations and dark anonymous money, from even foreign interests, should be allowed to swamp the voices of individuals that has been the determining factor in my decision to vote no on his nomination,” McCaskill wrote. She added that she’s also uncomfortable with “his position that corporations are people.”
McCaskill’s decision had been awaited by those watching her close re-election battle with Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who has called for Kavanaugh’s swift confirmation. McCaskill is among 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won, and her vote on Kavanaugh could be pivotal to her chances at winning a third term. She is seen as one of the weakest democrat senators up for re-election.
Hawley on Wednesday blasted McCaskill for her decision, saying in a statement that, “nobody is surprised.”
“Claire McCaskill is now 0 for 6 on Supreme Court nominees since she started running for the Senate 12 long years ago,” Hawley said. “She has sided with Chuck Schumer every single time – for liberals and against Missouri. Senator McCaskill has forgotten where she’s from and become just another Washington liberal.”
McCaskill has never voted for a Supreme Court nominee put forth by a republican president. During McCaskill’s 2006 campaign for Senate, she said she opposed former President George W. Bush’s nomination of Justice Samuel Alito but would have voted for Roberts. As a senator, she voted for both of former President Barack Obama’s appointees: Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. McCaskill voted against nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Hawley on Wednesday said he will continue to support Kavanaugh “until there is some proof of these allegations,” the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
The allegations are about an alleged event almost 40 years ago, brought by Christine Blasey Ford. The only witness that Ford has named states that the incident in question never happened, posing problem for bot Ford and democrats hoping to derail the Kavanaugh confirmation.
In addition, Senator Diane Feinstein, (D) Calif., and senior democrat member of the committee, has refused to provide a copy of the letter to the Republican chair. That has raised alarm bells across the country by those openly questioning what mess the democrats may have gotten themselves into with an 11th hour accusation that so far, has no facts to back it up.
Kavanaugh has denied the claims. Over 200 former classmates have come to Kavanaugh’s defense, most of them women who identify themselves as both republicans and democrats. Several women who signed the letter have said the description of their friend Kavanaugh put forward by the accuser is completely unrecognizable form he young man they knew in high school and college.
When asked by a reporter at the campaign event whether she believes Ford, McCaskill said she shouldn’t be asked to decide without first hearing Ford testify, the Springfield News-Leader reported .
It’s unclear if Ford will testify. Republicans have given the accuser several opportunities to provide testimony–both publicly or in private if she wishes. A hearing is scheduled for Monday that is supposed to feature Kavanaugh and Ford.
Ford’s attorney, who is funded by liberal billionaire George Soros though an organization which was formed to oppose his nomination, has said her client Ford should not be expected to prove her allegations.