RUSH: CNN is breathlessly reporting that Jeff Flake — who announced he was gonna vote for Kavanaugh this morning — walked out of the committee room today with Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware, and hasn’t been seen since. So CNN’s trying to say that there’s a lot of drama being played out behind the scenes and that maybe Flake is going to get his mind changed by the Democrats. CNN is claiming Flake is wobbling, might still vote “no.”
That’s the current holdup in the voting right now.
RUSH: We are keeping an eye on the committee. They’ve not voted yet. They’re supposed to vote soon. Still some concern over where is Jeff Flake. CNN is breathless. CNN is…
Oh, they’re so hoping that somebody got to Flake. We, of course, are hoping it’s wishful thinking. In the event somebody did — and, by the way, let me just… I told Snerdley, I told the people on the other side of the glass 45 minutes ago that I’m not thinking this is over at all. I’m listening to these Democrat speeches where they are still campaigning, and then they get up and walk out. Every one of them is looking right at where Flake is sitting, either he or in Grassley’s direction.
I told ’em in there (and they can back this up) that I wouldn’t be surprised if one of two things happened: If Grassley did decide to delay the vote or if Flake changed his mind. Snerdley looked at me and said, “No way! No way! Not after you commit. No way,” and now look what CNN’s reporting. I know it’s CNN, but somebody’s telling ’em that. It could all be bogus, designed to be seen by others. (interruption) Right. “Talks going on behind the scenes. … Drama playing out behind the scenes. … Dem, GOP members in talks.”
What could that be about? If the Dems and the Republicans are in talks, the only reason to be talking (sigh) would be to change what was supposed to happen here at 1:30.
RUSH: Yeah, all right. It’s confirmed the Democrats are really putting pressure on Flake. I was wise. I was wise to not trust this at the get go. I didn’t… I didn’t say… There’s a lot of things I’m holding back today, folks. I’m gonna tell you up front I’m holding back, because I don’t want to end up being a factor in what’s happening here today. I don’t mean to sound egotistical, but there are certain things that in this charged atmosphere, they’re just waiting for someone like me to say something that would turn into a news story that would fire people up.
So I have withheld what have been fears all day long about Flake. The minute I got here and found out this vote was gonna take four hours — will have four hours of debate prior to it — instead of happening at 9:30, and knowing that Flake is leaving… This is his last term in office. Knowing that Flake, at the end of the day, still does not like Donald Trump at all. Kavanaugh is a Trump nominee. The Democrats are now working hard to change him.
I’ll guarantee you they’re not talking about FBI investigations or fairness or any of that. They’re talking Trump. Amy Klobuchar set that up by saying that she doesn’t think Kavanaugh’s qualified or legitimate simply because Trump nominated him. I think they’re probably talking about Senator McCain to him. “You can be a hero like Senator McCain! Remember Senator McCain thumbing down Obamacare, the repeal of Obama? You can do the same!” I know they’re working on him this way, and this was a fear I had from the get-go today.
I mean, even from last night. We’re talking about Jeff Flake here, maybe even a little bit Corker. Now, all of that having been said, McConnell has said that regardless, there’s gonna be a floor vote next week, and here’s another thing. Traditionally, the vote in the Judiciary Committee is supposed to serve as a guide to the full Senate. See, the full Senate’s not on the Judiciary Committee, and so Civics 101 says, “The rest of the Senate will learn what to do by listening to the learned knowledge and recommendation of the Judiciary Committee, which will have fully vetted the nominee,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I guarantee you that the other senators are not sitting out there waiting to hear what the Judiciary Committee recommends with its vote. So McConnell says there’s gonna be a vote regardless. Flake’s vote? Somebody is gonna be needed. If Flake drops off, we’re gonna need Collins, Murkowski, and so forth. McConnell says the vote is going to happen. In fact, our microphones are still there. Let’s JIP a little bit of this. Grassley just resumed his seat here. Let’s see what’s happening. We have a few moments here to find out.
FLAKE: (haltingly) I, uh, have been speaking with a number of people on the other side. We’ve had conversations ongoing on for a while, uh, with regard to, um, making sure that (sigh) we do due diligence here.
RUSH: Jeff Flake is speaking.
FLAKE: And I think it would be, uh, proper to delay the floor vote, uh, for up to but not more than one week, uh, in order to let the, um, FBI continue — or, uh, to do an investigation —
RUSH: I told you, Snerdley! I told you. I told you.
SPEAKER: — limited in time and scope, uh, to the current allegations that are there. And, uh, limit in time to no more than one week, and I… (sigh) I will vote to advance the bill, uh, to the floor w-with that understanding. And I — I’ve spoken to a few other members, uh, ummm, who, uh — on my side of the aisle that — may be supportive as well. But that’s my position. I — I think that, uh, that we — we ought to do what we can to make sure that, uh, that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important. And I want to say that this committee has acted properly and, uh, the chairman has bent over backwards, uhhh, to do investigations from this committee and to delay this vote in this committee for a week so that judge — or so that, uh, Ms. Ford, Dr. Ford could be heard, and she was yesterday. Uh, so… So that’s, with that agreement, uhh, I will vote to advance bill for the floor. Uh…
GRASSLEY: Clerk will call roll!
RUSH: Okay. Pot it. Pot it down. What Flake is saying here is he’s prepared to vote for Kavanaugh in this vote, but he wants a delay for a week on the full Senate vote so that the FBI can investigate. I still don’t believe that that’s how they got to him. I think they got to him with Trump, but they could have gotten to him with this FBI business. We got a little few seconds here. He’s still speaking. Let’s see. Maybe we can get Grassley and some of the action.
FLAKE: My — my understanding — and if the Democrats could speak to it, if Chris or — or you —
FLAKE: — as we talked about before if the Democrats would accept and endorse a — a one week, uh, um (sputtering), FBI investigation limited in time and scope.
FEINSTEIN: That is correct.
GRASSLEY: Well, since you’re the deciding —
GRASSLEY: Well, since you’re the deciding vote here, we’ll vote and then if there’s any sort of discussion, we’ll go do that after the vote. Call the roll!
CLERK: (gavels) Mr. Hatch?
CLERK: Mr. Graham?
CLERK: Mr. Cornyn?
CLERK: Mr. Lee?
CLERK: Mr. Cruz?
RUSH: They’re calling the vote!
CLERK: Mr. Sasse?
RUSH: They’re calling the vote without a commitment to do the FBI investigation!
CLERK: Mr. Crapo?
CLERK: Mr. Tillis?
RUSH: Grassley manned up here!
CLERK: Mr. Kennedy?
CLERK: Mrs. Feinstein?
FEINSTEIN: This is on the nominee?
FEINSTEIN: On the nominee, no.
CLERK: Mr. Leahy?
LEAHY: On the nominee, no.
CLERK: Mr. Durbin?
CLERK: Mr. Whitehouse?
RUSH: Our seconds with dwindling.
CLERK: Mrs. Klobuchar?
RUSH: We’re hoping to get all this in before we have to do.
CLERK: Mr. Coons?
COONS: On the nominee, no.
CLERK: Mr. Blumenthal?
CLERK: Ms. Hirono?
CLERK: Mr. Booker?
CLERK: Ms. Harris?
CLERK: Mr. Chairman?
CLERK: Mr. Chairman, the votes are 11 yay, 10 nay.
GRASSLEY: The nominee will be reported to the floor.
FLAKE: Mr. Chairman, may I —
RUSH: Okay, gotta go. Take it away.
RUSH: Okay. The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to send the Kavanaugh nomination to the floor, 11-10. Flake’s vote is contingent in the full vote on whether or not they delay that full vote for an FBI investigation, and that now is not up to this committee. That’s up to the Turtle. It’s up to McConnell as to when the vote takes place. All the rest in there right now is just noise.
RUSH: Okay. The ball is in Donald Trump’s court now. We’ll see how he deals with this. Just hang on, folks. I’m gonna tell you what happened and put it all in perspective for you.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: It’s easy for me to say now, but Snerdley can back me up. I had fears this was gonna happen from the moment I showed up here because we’re talking about Jeff Flake. I didn’t say so because I didn’t want it reported in the media: “Rush Limbaugh worried about Flake.” I didn’t even want to put the idea out there. I’m also not saying some things about the hearings yesterday because I don’t want what I say to end up being a distraction. The liberal media is out there waiting for any of that.
So I’m kind of holding back here — and don’t worry. You’re gonna hear what I think at some point. But I gotta be strategic here given all this going on. Here’s where we are. The vote was supposed to be at 9:30 today. The Democrats on the committee asked for a chance to speak before they voted. They began to filibuster. The vote was then announced. When Grassley decided to let that happen, he had to let it happen for everybody. So the Democrats, especially Cory Booker, just started flapping their gums, just started talking about meaningless garbage to make it sound like it was meaningful, but it wasn’t. It just time filling and time wasting.
The vote was moved back to 1:30. As we approached 1:30, people noticed that Chris Coons and Jeff Flake had left the committee room some moments earlier and nobody had seen ’em since. This, of course, made people curious, and they found out that eventually Coons and Flake had been huddling and the Democrats have been working on Flake to agree with them that the FBI needs to take one more look at this, given Blasey Ford’s testimony now and given the other allegations, the porn star lawyer’s allegation from what’s-her-face. (interruption)
No, no, no, no. Avenatti’s client. I’m having a mental block on her name. Ramirez… (interruption) Yeah, Wetnick, Swetnick whatever it is. So the Democrats been pushing for a FBI investigation just to delay things. The FBI… Here’s what’s silly about this, folks. The only thing the FBI would do if they’re authorized to do it is what they’ve already done! The FBI has already said there’s nothing here! This is so… I overuse the word “maddening.”
Well, anyway, I’m jumping the shark here. Let me come back and get back into the chronology. So Flake comes back in with Coons, huddles with Grassley. And the upshot of it is that Flake says he will vote for Kavanaugh if there will be a delay in the full Senate, the floor vote on Kavanaugh for a week so that the FBI could investigate, which is what the Democrats have been demanding and begging for. So they got to Flake somehow.
We’ll find out in due course what they promised him or how they got to him. That will eventually reveal itself. So Flake makes his demand of a one-week delay for the FBI, just to we can all be thorough here and remove any clouds of doubt, in exchange for there being a one-week investigation. Well, Grassley — just to cut to the chase here — immediately calls the vote without telling Flake whether he accepts Flake’s demand. They do the vote, and Flake votes Kavanaugh.
So the vote goes out of the committee 11-10 in favor of Kavanaugh, which doesn’t mean anything in terms of the final vote. Don’t doubt me. It doesn’t mean anything. It used to maybe carry some weight, but it doesn’t anymore. What Flake then said is, “Yeah, I voted yes today, but my yes vote on final confirmation of Kavanaugh will not be forthcoming unless there is a one-week FBI investigation.” He’s holding his vote and he’s telling everybody he might not vote Kavanaugh if there is no FBI investigation.
Well, the problem with all of this is that nobody in that room, in the Senate Judiciary Committee room, can authorize an FBI investigation! Nobody can make that deal with Flake! Grassley can’t make that deal because Grassley doesn’t run the Senate. Mitch McConnell does. As the majority leader, Mitch McConnell runs the Senate. Mitch McConnell is on record saying there will be a vote next Tuesday on Kavanaugh.
Now, that was before Flake pulled this stunt today agreeing with the Democrats that his vote is contingent on a one-week — maximum one-week — FBI investigation into only allegations we have at the moment, which would mean Blasey Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick. But nobody in that room can make this deal. Chuck Schumer, as the minority leader, has to negotiate with McConnell on whether or not there’s gonna be an FBI investigation before the floor vote. Now, McConnell… Let’s go through the possibilities.
McConnell could say, “I don’t care about Jeff Flake’s vote. We’re not doing an FBI investigation.”
Then Schumer could say, “Well, then my guys are not gonna show up and vote. We’re gonna walk out! We’re not gonna vote and neither is Flake.”
To question McConnell is say, “You don’t want to vote? We don’t need your vote, but we’re gonna have the vote.” They can’t filibuster it. They can’t nuclear option it. They’ve blown that. The Democrats can’t. But getting into what FBI would do, here’s the thing. Do you realize, folks, none of these people have to talk to the FBI in this circumstance?
A one-week delay is nothing but silly. It is the Democrats’ latest victory in delaying the final vote. They’re gonna keep trying to delay and delay until after the midterm elections. That is all this is about because they think they’re gonna win them, at which point Trump’s nominees go sideways and there will never be a vote on Kavanaugh and Trump will have to pull it ’cause it just won’t be the case.
They’re gonna run the show, House and Senate. Trump’s nominees go nowhere. The only thing the FBI would do is go out and interview a few witnesses. They might interview Mark Judge, for example. But those people do not have to talk to the FBI. They may not want to, and they do not have to. Do not doubt me. None of the people that the Democrats want the FBI to talk to are under any kind of compulsion to talk to the FBI. They do not have to.
Meanwhile, the most the FBI would do is interview these people and then turn the interview notes over. They’re called 302s. There’s a Form 302 for an FBI interview. The 302s would be turned over to the Senate and the Senate would be right back where it is today making the decision! The FBI being involved is a nothing burger! It is unnecessary! It’s not going to be determinative at all! And I’ll tell you somethin’ else!
I’m just gonna go on record here as telling you something else! If — if — the FBI investigating this finds out that Dr. Ford is lying, the Democrats will still not change their vote. If the FBI were to find that Avenatti’s client is full of it, if the FBI were to find that this Ramirez woman — who’s the second woman to come forth after Dr. Blasey Ford. If the FBI finds that not only are these witnesses lying, but there is nothing to what they’re saying, and if that’s what they report… Well, they wouldn’t report it. The Senate would.
They would get the interviews, and if any interviews the FBI finds out that Blasey Ford is lying… This is just a possibility here. You know, hypothetical. My point is, this is so irrelevant and so un-determinative and so not really necessary that no matter what the FBI finds, the Democrats are not gonna change their vote. Right now, the Democrats are operating on the premise that Blasey Ford cannot lie.
“She’s a woman! She’s making the allegation; it’s true. We must take her seriously,” and “take her seriously” means believing her! If we don’t believe her, we’re insulting her. If we don’t believe her, we’re not taking her seriously.” So the FBI goes and talks to her. She can’t tell them where it happened. If she now tells them where it happened then they’ve got a problem because she under oath said she doesn’t know where it happened. If she suddenly remembers, we got a problem. If she suddenly remembers when it happened, specific date and time, we have a problem because she’s under oath saying she doesn’t remember that.
So they go interview her. She says the same thing to the FBI she said yesterday. Nobody knows anymore than they know today. The FBI will furnish their 302s and reports and will add no new information to anything because all of this already has been investigated by committee investigators. If there are no changes, if there is no corroborating evidence, if the four people named by Blasey Ford who claim today under oath that they do not know what she’s talking about, that they weren’t there — if they say that to the FBI — will the Democrats accept it because it’s coming from the FBI?
I’m here to tell you that there’s no circumstance under which the Democrats are gonna change their vote on this guy. Some of the red state Democrats might like Joe Manchin and some of the others that are maybe feeling some heat in the midterms. But the Democrats at large, as a party, are not going to change their votes on this. And the reason I’m saying that is to point out the futility and the utter irrelevance of this and cement the point that it is nothing more than another delay. Trump… You know, Jeff Flake does not get to authorize the FBI.
The only thing at stake here is Jeff Flake’s vote. Flake voted for Kavanaugh in the committee on the basis that there’s gonna be an FBI investigation of a week. If that investigation doesn’t happen, then Flake can say, “Okay. I’m not voting for the guy.” But Flake cannot authorize the FBI and Grassley can’t authorize the FBI and Dianne Feinstein can’t authorize the FBI. And the FBI’s already said they don’t want any part of it! The FBI’s already said to them it’s a closed case. It’s not in their jurisdiction!
There hasn’t been a formal complaint filed where it happened in Montgomery County!
It’s 36 years old!
The American people ought to be outraged at the Democrat Party. The American people ought to be fit to be tied and frustrated as hell over the Democrat Party thwarting the process here, because that is all this is. Well, it’s not all it is. In addition to all of that, it is the purposeful — and I mean that. It is the purposeful destruction of a man and his career — his achievements, his integrity, his reputation, his family — and his life in general. That is also on the table as a threat to anybody else who might come along and threaten the Supreme Court as somebody like Judge Kavanaugh does.
RUSH: A friend of mine known affectionately as “Mr. Hawaii” just sent me a text and said, “What is the purpose of the delay?” Well, let me tell you what the purpose of the delay is. I just watched Chris Coons, who made the deal with Flake, say (paraphrased), “Look, we need to remove the cloud over the head of Judge Kavanaugh, and I think everyone agrees that the FBI looking into this — or any new allegations — in the next week. It is something that should be a bipartisan effort because this committee was too partisan. The American people need to see us working together.”
So we have a one-week delay that the Democrats now say, “Maximum, we’ll agree, one-week delay. Have the FBI come in, look at this.” But Coons also said, “Any new allegations that come in, they, of course, should be investigated.” The reason for the delay is for new allegations to be brought forth — and I’m telling you, the Democrats already have them in their back pockets like cards waiting to be played. The reason for the delay is to get another delay. And after securing that next delay, go for another one.
All of this is about one of two things: Delaying the vote or having it canceled before the elections in November, or having the president withdraw Kavanaugh or Kavanaugh withdraw himself. Those are the objectives. Anything to prevent the vote. Anything! That’s what the delay is. The delay is the next phase in new allegations. “But, Rush, they just agreed to one week.” Folks, wait. It’s Monday, next week, hypothetically — and everybody thinks the FBI is looking into Blasey Ford and some of these others.
And then why, lo and behold, here comes another Democrat lawyer with another allegation! Do you think the Democrats gonna say, “Well, we can’t investigate that because we agreed to end all this on Friday”? Ha! If there’s a new allegation, it will be met with a demand to extend the investigation. We said it from the beginning of this process: Every day the Republicans do not call the vote on this is a day there isn’t going to be one.
And it’s now getting to the point every day that the vote is not called equals four or five days of delay. So now the ball is in the court of the Turtle, Mitch McConnell. By the way, Trump… Apparently, they got a press gaggle in there at the White House. Did you hear what Trump said? “Well, if that’s what they want, let it play out.” That’s… I didn’t see it. That is a report that I got. I guess I should say this with an asterisk. I have learned unless I see it myself, that I should pass it along to you with reservation.
A lot of people think they hear something, but when I look at it, I don’t hear what they heard. But the note I got was that Trump said, “Well, if they want to let it play out, let it play out.” I have another fear here. (chuckling) I’m wondering if I ought to keep quiet about it or not. I almost walked in during the break to tell people and make my prediction what’s coming next. (long pause) I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s go to the phones. We got Michelle in Topeka, Kansas, who has been waiting awhile.
RUSH: MSNBC is reporting that Senator Murkowski is supporting Senator Flake’s call for a delay.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. But, again, they don’t have anything to say about it. It’s gonna be McConnell. But what’s McConnell gonna do if more and more members of his caucus ask for a delay? Again, let’s look at this way. Let’s say that next Monday, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI calls a press conference and says, “The FBI has completed its investigation.”
He’s got Robert Mueller standing right next to him.
“We have completed our investigation. We have found absolutely no evidence of collusion in the 2016 election between Donald Trump and the Russians or vice versa.”
Do you think the Democrats would say, “Whoa. Okay. Cool”?
Do you think they would accept it? No. Just as they’re not gonna accept if the FBI turns in interview reports that doesn’t change the circumstances today, that don’t change the status quo. If the FBI happens to turn in a report that they’ve confirmed that Dr. Blasey Ford is lying, it isn’t gonna change the Democrats’ vote on this. That’s why all of this is pointless and a waste of time.
RUSH: Snerdley, you’re acting surprised.
RUSH: You’re not surprised Murkowski threw in with Flake, are you?
RUSH: Right. Yeah.
RUSH: We have audio of President Trump this afternoon in the White House shortly after the shenanigans in the Judiciary Committee where the vote was called and it was 11-10 to support Kavanaugh out of the committee. Jeff Flake agreeing with the Democrats for a one-week delay for the FBI to investigate whatever the Democrats can find next in addition to Blasey Ford and whatever else.
So the one week investigation is gonna be expanded because, by Monday at the latest, there’s gonna be another allegation, and the Democrats are gonna say, “Well, we can’t control that!” Ha-ha-ha. So anyway, when they got to Trump, he was meeting with the president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, and White House correspondent Jim Acosta was Acosta-ing Trump. He said, “What did you think of Dr. Ford’s testimony when you heard it?”
THE PRESIDENT: I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me. Very fine woman. And I thought that Brett’s testimony, likewise, was really something that I haven’t seen before. It was incredible. It was an incredible moment, I think, in the history of our country.
RUSH: And then the question was, “Would you be willing to reopen the background investigation into Kavanaugh?” Listen carefully…
THE PRESIDENT: I’m just hearing a little bit about it because I’ve been with the president of Chile, and we’re talking about some very important subjects. But, uhhh, I’m sure it will all be very good. I guess the vote was a positive vote, but there seems to be a delay. I’ll learn more about it as the day goes on. I’m gonna rely on all of the people, including Senator Grassley, who’s doing a very good job. Uh, that will be a decision that they’re going to make, and I suspect they’ll be making some decision soon, whether to take a vote or to do whatever else they want to do. I will be totally reliant on what Senator Grassley and the group decides to do.
RUSH: Well, it isn’t gonna be Grassley. It’s gonna be McConnell. So the president is basically deferring, at least in this statement, to the Senate. If McConnell, Grassley, whoever, want the FBI to look into it, then the president seemingly is fine. He will leave the FBI decision up to them. I still don’t know about this authorizing the FBI business. I thought Trump had to do it. So, Snerdley, think I ought to share my prediction or withhold?
RUSH: All right. I’ll withhold it.
RUSH: They know I made it. If my prediction’s right, it won’t be long we’ll find out — and if it happens, you’ll know it, folks. (chuckling) Believe me, you’ll know it.
RUSH: I’ve got a question. As long as we’re getting the FBI back in here, how about reopening the Hillary email investigation? I mean, they exonerated her before they even interviewed her. How about reopening that? Hmm? Hey, Senator Flake, could you make this part of your deal? Could you, say, get the FBI to relook at Blasey Ford be contingent on the FBI reopening the Hillary email investigation? Senator Flake? Could you do that?
RUSH: Okay. My prediction… I’m not gonna voice it, but if it happens, I guarantee you will know what it is. But I don’t want to be a factor in it, so that’s why I’m not announcing it. I’m not holding back on you, folks. I’m trying to be responsible here, unlike half of the damn United States Senate.