Colorado Senators Split on Kavanaugh Nomination

October 5, 2018
Photo: Michael Bennet, Senator, July 2017 )AP)
Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Updated Oct. 6 -- Kavanaugh wins full Senate approval. Gardner votes yes, Bennet votes no. Original Friday story continues below:

Colorado's U.S. senators were split on Friday's preliminary vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Republican Cory Gardner voted yes to limit Senate debate on the nomination -- a key step before the final vote. Democrat Michael Bennet voted no.

The final tally was 51 senators in favor to 49 opposed.

Gardner said in a press release Friday:

“I announced my support for Judge Kavanaugh in July, and I will be voting to approve his nomination to the Supreme Court. During this confirmation process, I have supported every opportunity to ensure we have all available information before us. This included listening to hours of testimony, reading and re-reading transcripts and statements, and studying interviews of over 150 people spanning 25 years in seven FBI background investigations. No evidence was found by the FBI to corroborate the allegations made against him or to make me change the support I announced for him in July.

“We live in a country where both sides should always be heard. Victimized women that come forward are brave and courageous. Every victim of abuse, assault, and violence has been through an unspeakable tragedy and we need to do a better job listening to them, ensuring support is available, and fighting to end abuse of any kind. I hope that the partisan divide we all feel today does not hinder the people that have bravely come forward.”

Like other Democrats, Bennet says the FBI didn't properly investigate allegations against him, as NPR reported:

Senators had one day to review a confidential supplemental background check into Kavanaugh's behavior in the early-to-mid 1980s when he was in high school and college. The closely guarded collection of interviews is celebrated by Republican leaders as concrete proof that Kavanaugh did not harass or abuse women. Democrats say the interviews, which they originally requested, are incomplete and inconclusive.

More specifically, Bennet's says the FBI didn't properly investigate allegations from a Colorado woman, Deborah Ramirez, who has said Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct when they were both students at Yale. 

Photo: Sen. Cory Gardner (AP Photo)
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.

William Pittard, a Washington D.C.-based lawyer representing Ramirez, wrote a scathing three-page letter to FBI director Chris Ray Thursday. In it, Pittard writes that agents interviewed Ramirez last Sunday in Boulder. She answered a “host of detailed questions,” then provided agents with a list of more than 20 additional witnesses that could have corroborated her claims. But the FBI never permitted its agents to contact those witnesses, Pittard wrote.

The entire process, "cannot be how our founders expected us to consider lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States," Bennet said. "Somewhere along the way, we began to treat the courts as just another front of our endless partisan war."

Senate Republican leaders are expected to hold a final vote to confirm the judge Saturday, Oct. 6.