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Sens. Kaine, Warner announce they won't support Kavanaugh nomination

Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner (Associated Press)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- After nearly nine hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, Virginia senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released statements about their thoughts.

Both Senators previously released why their vote would be no.

“I found Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony courageous and believable. And there is significant corroborating evidence—notes from her therapist, her passing a polygraph test, and similar accounts from other independent witnesses who stand ready to testify. All this suggests that any rush to a vote would be a huge mistake and the Judiciary Committee and FBI should complete a full investigation of these serious charges. Will my colleagues stand up to undertake the serious duty of exercising advise and consent? Will my colleagues make plain to the public that charges of sexual assault cannot be swept under the rug?”

Within moments of the eight-hour proceedings concluding, Trump tweeted his approval of Kavanaugh’s performance and called on the Senate to move swiftly to a vote.

Ford’s tearful recounting of allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school led Trump to express sympathy for Kavanaugh and his family for having to listen to the testimony, according to two Republicans close to the White House but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. They added that Trump expressed some frustration at the process — and the staff work — that led Kavanaugh to this point.

After seeing Ford’s powerful testimony, White House aides and allies expressed concern that Kavanaugh, whose nomination already seemed to be teetering, would have an uphill climb to deliver a strong enough showing to match hers.

White House officials believe Kavanaugh’s passionate denials of Ford’s claims, including the judge’s tearful description of the impact the accusations had on his family, met the challenge. A White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly said the West Wing saw the judge’s opening statement as “game changing” and said Trump appeared to be reacting positively.

Senator Mark Warner has also said he will not support President Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

"If we're serious about the truth, the President should direct the FBI to reopen its background check on this nominee," he tweeted after the day of testimonies.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam also tweeted his disapproval of the 'message the Senate Judiciary Committee is sending to assault victims.'

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote at 1:30 p.m. Friday on whether to recommend Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

Republicans have slim 11-10 majority on the committee. With Sen. Jeff Flake's support, Kavanaugh's nomination is expected to clear the committee and go to the full Senate.

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