Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at right by Secretary for the Majority Laura Dove, walks to the chamber as the Senate begins its week awaiting an expanded FBI investigation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., doubled down Tuesday on his vow to hold a vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh by the end of the week, accusing Democrats of throwing “mud and muck” at President Donald Trump’s pick.

“One thing we know for sure: The Senate will vote on Judge Kavanaugh here on this floor, this week,” McConnell said during a floor speech in which he also dismissed some recent media reports about Kavanaugh’s decades-old behavior.

His comments come as Democrats are pressing for a more expansive FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. On Monday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee called for FBI interviews of about dozen people who might have information relevant to three Kavanaugh accusers.

McConnell characterized that as a part of an ongoing effort by Democrats to “move the goal posts” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation and predicted they would be unsatisfied when the FBI completes its work this week.

Democrats, McConnell said, “will not be satisfied unless they have brought down Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

In remarks afterward, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said there are growing questions about Kavanaugh’s credibility, some based on his testimony last week at a hearing that also included one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford, a professor in California, has accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly assaulting her while both were teenagers in Maryland in the early 1980s.

“He has grossly mischaracterized his relationship with alcohol,” Schumer said, characterizing Kavanaugh as someone who “tiptoes around the truth.”

Regardless of what he did as a teenager, senators need to look at what Kavanaugh is saying now, Schumer said.

“You cannot discount what he is saying and professing at age 53 when it flies in the face of being truthful,” Schumer said. “That is the key question here. … His credibility is in real doubt – doubt enough for a lot of Americans to say this man should not be on the Supreme Court.”

During his earlier remarks, McConnell also mocked new reports that Kavanaugh was involved in a bar fight while in college, sarcastically calling it a “bombshell.”

“One can only image what new bombshell might be published today or tomorrow,” he said.

McConnell said that a “mudslide” has emerged since Ford’s allegations first became public.

“The mudslide was cheered on and capitalized on at every turn by the far left that has been so eager to stop this nomination,” he said.

McConnell also downplayed the allegations of one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Julie Swetnick.

She said in a declaration that Kavanaugh was physically abusive toward girls in high school and was at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a gang rape. She also said she had seen Kavanaugh try to get girls inebriated and disoriented at multiple earlier parties so they could be raped by a ” ‘train’ of numerous boys.”

McConnell referred to Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Swetnick, as a “tabloid lawyer” and said he is pushing allegations about “one wild party after another filled with sexual violence for which there happened to be zero witnesses.”

Avenatti, who has said he is considering a run for the presidency in 2020, is also representing Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who was paid to remain silent about an alleged affair with President Trump.


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