In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) came out strongly against Brett Kavanaugh on Friday, saying he could not vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court over “concerns” about the judge’s record and the sexual assault allegations against him.

“I have concerns that Judge Kavanaugh defended the PATRIOT Act instead of Montanans’ privacy,” the red-state Democrat said in a statement. “I have concerns about his support for more dark money in politics. I have concerns about who he believes is in charge of making personal health decisions. And I have deep concerns about the allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh.”

Tester added that Kavanaugh “couldn’t find time to discuss these concerns with me in person,” leaving him to judge the nominee on his performance in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I’ll be voting against him,” Tester said.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), another red-state Democrat who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, also announced his plan to vote against Kavanaugh on Friday.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Friday solemnly critiqued Brett Kavanaugh’s “belligerent” testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about sexual assault allegations against him.

As the GOP-controlled committee plowed forward with its plans to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, Feinstein said his conduct did not befit a federal judge who wants a seat on the country’s highest court

“Candidly, in the 25 years on this committee, I have never seen a nominee for any position behave in that manner,” Feinstein said. “Judge Kavanaugh used as much political rhetoric as my Republican colleagues. And what’s more, he went on the attack.”

Kavanaugh’s claims that the allegations were a “calculated and orchestrated political hit,” backlash to President Trump, and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons,” were, Feinstein said, “unbelievable.”

“This was not someone who reflected an impartial temperament or the fairness and evenhandedness one would see in a judge,” Feinstein continued. “This was someone who was aggressive and belligerent. I have never seen someone who wants to be elevated to the highest court in our country behave in that manner.”

During Thursday afternoon’s hearing, Kavanaugh cried, yelled, and repeatedly interrupted and talked back to senators. At one point, he asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who had described her father’s struggle with alcoholism moments earlier, if she had experienced alcohol-induced blackouts. (He later apologized.)

Feinstein said his performance made for a stark contrast with that of his accuser, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford.

“The person who testified yesterday and demonstrated a balanced temperament was Dr. Ford,” Feinstein said. “She gave powerful testimony about her experience of being physically and sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh.”

“She was poised,” Feinstein went on. “She was credible. And she should be believed. Unfortunately, despite assuring Dr. Ford her allegations would be taken seriously, and she would be treated respectfully, that is not what ultimately happened.”

The committee will convene again at 1:30 p.m. to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced his support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh ahead of a Judiciary Committee meeting to vote on his Supreme Court confirmation Friday. Flake was one of a handful closely watched undecided votes on Thursday night, after a hearing where Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified on sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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