WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTOK) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will receive an up-or-down vote in the Senate "in the near future."
McConnell on Monday denounced Democrats, accusing them of waging a "smear campaign" against Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from the 1980s that did not surface until a few days before the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote and send his nomination to the full Senate.
McConnell called the ploy "despicable".
Kavanaugh himself says he will "not be intimidated into withdrawing" his nomination for the Supreme Court.
In a letter to the Judiciary panel, Kavanaugh says, "These are smears, pure and simple." He calls the allegations "grotesque and obvious character assassination" and says they could dissuade others from entering public service.
Kavanaugh says threats of violence against his family and "the coordinated effort to destroy my good name" won't drive him out.
Several Senate Republicans have called the allegations "smears" and urged a vote on Kavanaugh after Thursday's hearing, in which Kavanaugh and accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are to testify.
Mississippi's senators released statements Monday in support of Kavanaugh's nomination and opposing a delay in his confirmation vote.
“Senate Democrats have demonstrated that they are not interested in truth or justice. The clear lack of supporting evidence and witnesses and the withholding of information suggest a coordinated campaign designed to smear Judge Kavanaugh," said Sen. Roger Wicker. "Chairman (Chuck) Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee) and his colleagues have taken the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh seriously. I support the work of the Judiciary Committee, which is investigating these claims through a fair process. This week both sides will be given an opportunity to share their stories under oath, and then we should move forward. These unsubstantiated, politically-motivated accusations should not further delay the consideration of this well-regarded, highly-qualified nominee.”
“Sexual assault of any kind is unacceptable, but it is becoming very apparent that a major partisan effort is underway to undermine not just Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, but his character," said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. "Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly declared that none of these accusations are true, denied all the accusations, and I am glad he has pledged he will not buckle under this coordinated attack to torpedo his nomination. Judge Kavanaugh has an exemplary record of service to the judiciary and the rule of law. His confirmation process has been exhaustive, and he has been forthright in answering questions, all under the penalty of law. I’ve met him and continue to consider him imminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine these accusations. Let that process go forward and then bring Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination up for a vote. I’m confident the Senate will do the right thing, not just by Judge Kavanaugh, but by the American people and our system of justice.”