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Kavanaugh in op-ed defends getting ‘emotional’

The Hill logo The Hill 10/5/2018 Tal Axelrod

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal published Thursday evening in which he defended his "emotional" testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said," he wrote.

Kavanaugh became visibly emotional when refuting allegations of sexual misconduct three women publicly leveled against him.

"After all those meetings and after my initial hearing concluded, I was subjected to wrongful and sometimes vicious allegations. My time in high school and college, more than 30 years ago, has been ridiculously distorted. My wife and daughters have faced vile and violent threats," Kavanaugh wrote.

"My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. At times, my testimony-both in my opening statement and in response to questions-reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of horrible conduct completely contrary to my record and character," he added.

Kavanaugh engaged in tense exchanges with Democrats on the committee. When Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked if he had ever blacked out from drinking, he responded by asking her the same question.

The nominee's conduct during the hearing caught the attention of many on the left, who cited his temperament as another reason to vote "no" on his confirmation. Klobuchar later said that if she "was in his courtroom and acted like that, he would have thrown me out."

But Kavanaugh touted what he called his neutral record and vowed to keep an open mind on the Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. As I have said repeatedly, if confirmed to the court, I would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the Constitution and laws of the United States. I would always strive to be a team player," he wrote.

"I revere the Constitution. I believe that an independent and impartial judiciary is essential to our constitutional republic. If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law," Kavanaugh added.

Kavanaugh's confirmation prospects got a boost Thursday when the FBI sent the Senate a private report on its now-concluded investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against the nominee.

Many Senate Republicans claim that there was no corroborating evidence for any of the claims against Kavanaugh and have vowed to confirm the nominee in a vote over the weekend.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), both potential swing votes for Kavanaugh's confirmation, hinted they could vote "yes" on his nomination and said they believed the inquiry was thorough.

Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate and can only afford one defection if Democrats unanimously vote against Kavanaugh.

Sens. Flake, Collins, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) have not yet publicly affirmed how they intend to vote.

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