In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate majority whip and a member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters Tuesday that he was “hopeful” that the Senate would release some kind of “summary” or “statement” informing the public about the results of a FBI follow-up investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Read More →

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) rolled her eyes at Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) “ridiculous” claim that she’ll be investigated on Monday, as many of Cotton’s GOP colleagues said they knew nothing about that claim.

Cotton, a close and fierce ally to President Trump, said on Sunday that Feinstein’s office will be investigated to find out how Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh became public. The Intercept, which broke the story of the allegations, has said they didn’t get it from her office. The allegations have potentially put Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation in jeopardy.

Feinstein, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, scoffed at the claim from Cotton.

“I think it’s pretty ridiculous, actually,” she told TPM as she exited the Senate Monday night.

And many of Cotton’s GOP allies said they didn’t know anything about any investigation — even as some of them questioned how the information had gotten out. Republicans have accused Democrats of leaking Ford’s accusations at the last minute for political gain and tried to paint them as having ruined Ford’s life, while refusing to accept Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh assaulted her.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said a question about Cotton’s claim was the “first I’ve heard of it.”

“I haven’t talked to Tom about it,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), a Judiciary member, said he hadn’t “reviewed” the claim. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), another close Trump ally, said he didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t talked to Cotton.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), also on Judicary, was the only Republican TPM spoke to who specifically threw his support behind an investigation into Feinstein’s office.

“Dr. Ford’s testimony raised serious questions about the conduct of Democratic members of Congress deliberately leaking Dr. Ford’s letter without her consent and against her wishes. That did serious damage to Dr. Ford and her family,” he said before speculating Ford’s accusation had been leaked either by Feinstein’s office or from Rep. Anna Eshoo’s (D-CA), the only other lawmaker who Ford contacted. “I think there should be an investigation into who leaked that letter and why.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Judiciary Committee’s staunchest Kavanaugh defender, has also called for an investigation — but didn’t claim that there’s already one pending.

Read More →

The National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled its TV reservations for Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), making him the sixth House incumbent that either the group or its closely aligned super-PAC are leaving for dead heading into the campaign’s final month.

The NRCC canceled the ads in recent days, GOP sources confirm, walking away from Yoder in a suburban Kansas City district that President Trump lost by 1 point in 2016. Yoder is facing attorney and former mixed martial arts fighter Sharice Davids in the seat. If she wins, which now looks likely, she’ll become the first Native American woman and only the second openly gay woman ever to be elected to Congress.

He joins Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Mike Bishop (R-MI), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rod Blum (R-IA) and Keith Rothfus (R-PA) as incumbents that either the NRCC or the Congressional Leadership Fund, the GOP’s main super-PAC, have been forced to give up on to save their money for more winnable districts.

These half-dozen members, paired with more than a half-dozen open that Republicans aren’t seriously spending in, give Democrats roughly half the seats they need for the House majority this fall.

Read More →

Christine Blasey Ford “welcomes” the FBI investigation into her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one of her attorneys confirmed Friday.

“A thorough FBI investigation is critical to developing all the relevant facts,” Debra Katz said in a statement. “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford welcomes this step in the process, and appreciates the efforts of Senators Flake, Murkowski, Manchin and Collins — and all other senators who have supported an FBI investigation — to ensure it is completed before the Senate votes on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.”

Republican senators have stressed that the probe should delay the vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation by no more than a week.

Read More →