Brett Kavanaugh nomination faces delay
Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Mazie Hirono, three of the Democrats who just walked out of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, are speaking outside the room now.
Republicans are continuing their meeting inside.
Harris, alongside Sen. Cory Booker, refused to vote when the committee was voting on a motion to hold the Brett Kavanaugh vote later this afternoon.
Blumenthal introduced a motion to a subpoena Mark Judge — who Christine Blasey Ford says was in the room when she was allegedly attacked by Kavanaugh — but it was voted down.
Joined by their House colleagues
Moments after the senators left, a number of House Democratic women who were watching as spectators, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Pramila Jayapal, Sheila Jackson Lee and Barbara Lee, stood up in silence for a few minutes — then walked out as well.
Sen. Jeff Flake, who was just confronted by two sexual assault survivors who accused him of telling women their assaults don't matter after he announced he would vote to support Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, has been frowning since he arrived at the markup meeting.
Last night, after leaving the hours-long testimony that featured compelling testimony from both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh, Flake told CNN, "This is a tough decision, it really is."
When his friend Democratic Sen. Chris Coons learned he'd vote yes just before this morning's meeting, Coons said, "Oh, f--k," thought for a moment and added, "We each make choices for our own reason. I’m struggling, sorry."
At least five Democrats walked out of today's meeting after the Senate Judiciary Committee moved to vote later today on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Sheldon Whitehouse and Mazie Hirono left the room as Chairman Chuck Grassley was giving an opening statement. Sen. Patrick Leahy left a bit later.
Watch the moment:
There's a large, chaotic protest underway at the Dirksen Senate Office Building just down the hall from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room.
Demonstrators are blowing the whistles in an apparent attempt to drown out the Capitol Police’s instructions.
They are chanting, “November is coming,” and blowing whistles to drown out the Capitol Police who are attempting to shout instructors.
Some are sitting down and police are getting plastic handcuffs, indicating arrests are likely to follow. The press is being pushed away from the protest.
The Judiciary Committee will vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The motion to vote was just approved 11-8. Booker and Harris declined to vote in protest.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal just moved to subpoena Mark Judge, who Christine Blasey Ford says was in the room at the time that she was allegedly assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh.
Ten senators voted to subpoena him, while 11 voted no. The motion was defeated along party lines.
Here's what Blumenthal previously said to the committee:
"The third person allegedly in the room was Mark Judge. Evidently, he has never been interviewed by the FBI. He has never been questioned by any member of our committee. He has never submitted a detailed account of what he knows," he said. "And, so, I move, Mr. Chairman, that we have him before this committee as a witness."
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons was just informed of Sen. Jeff Flake’s intended yes vote as he was going into the Judiciary Committee.
His first response was: “Oh f--k”
He got very emotional and was silent for a few seconds. “I deeply respect...” he started. Then he paused.
“We each make choices for our own reason. I’m struggling, sorry.”
Coons and Flake are good friends.
In a surreal moment that was aired live on national television, two women, who said they were sexual assault survivors, confronted Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator moments after he announced that he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
One woman told Flake that he is "telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet, because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them."
She added, "That's what you're telling all of these women. That's what you're telling me right now. Look at me when I'm talking to you. You are telling me that my assault doesn't matter."
The second woman added, "You are allowing someone unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions and unwilling to hold the harm he has done to one woman, actually three women, and not repair it."
Watch the moment:
Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the key senators we've been watching, says he'll vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.
“After hearing more than 30 hours of testimony from Judge Kavanaugh earlier this month, I was prepared to support his nomination based on his view of the law and his record as a judge. In fact, I commented at the time that had he been nominated in another era, he would have likely received 90+ votes," he said in a statement.
Here's the full statement: