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Aaron Rupar @atrupar
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Brett Kavanaugh is all smiles as his Senate hearing is about to begin. Follow me for a video thread.
.@KamalaHarris interrupts @ChuckGrassley's opening statement to object to fact that senators just received 42,000 documents about Kavanaugh just last night. @SenBlumenthal moves to adjourn the hearing! Protesters start shouting.

Total chaos.
.@SenBooker gets an ovation after he calls for Grassley to slow the process down.

"What is the rush? What are we trying to hide by not having the documents out? What is with the rush?"
Protesters keep drowning out senators with yelling.

"He is a danger to this country!"
.@SenatorLeahy: "What are we trying to hide? Why are we rushing?"

GRASSLEY: "I think if I answer those questions it is going to fit into the effort of the minority to continue to obstruct, and I don't think that that's fair to our judge."
Democrats are all on the same page, grilling Grassley one after another about why he's rushing through Kavanaugh's process without giving them time to do a complete review of his records.
Sen. @JohnCornyn suggests Democrats "would be held in contempt in court" because "this whole process is supposed to be a civil one where people get to ask questions and we get to get answers."

Grassley then dismisses Democrats' objections about process as "boring."
BOOKER: "We should have a thorough understanding of the nominee that's put before us so that we can vet them to go into this hearing. Withholding those documents is an undermining of the constitutional role to which we have all sworn an oath to uphold."
Grassley, really struggling, is out here talking about "Senator Sotomayor"
.@SenFeinstein points out "these are very unique circumstances. We find ourselves w/a POTUS who faces his own serious problems. Over dozen cabinet members & senior aides have resigned, been fired, or failed their confirmations under clouds of corruption, scandal, and suspicion."
Grassley refuses to allow a vote on @SenBlumenthal's motion to suspend the hearing.

"If there is no vote on this motion, which has been properly seconded and which could be given a vote in executive session, this process will be tainted and stained forever," Blumenthal says.
.@SenThomTillis criticizes Dems over an NBC report indicating they "plotted a coordinated protest strategy over the holiday weekend all agreed to disrupt and protest the hearing."

@SenatorDurbin basically responds by saying -- 'Yeah. So what? We have legitimate concerns!'
.@SenatorLeahy points out that while he was chairman for the Kagan hearing, "We had 99% of her records from the White House made public 12 days before the hearing. With Kavanaugh we have 7%, and only 4% are public... what's being done here is unprecedented. What are we hiding?"
.@amyklobuchar: "I would like to know, Mr Chairman, if you have another example of a time when executive privilege was invoked to block the release of presidential records to the Senate during a Supreme Court nomination."

GRASSLEY: ....
Sen @JohnCornyn argues that whether all of Kavanaugh's documents are released to senators or not doesn't really matter, because Democrats are just going to oppose him anyway.
Asked why he communicated with the National Archives and asked them not to release certain Kavanaugh documents, @ChuckGrassley says, "Those documents are the least useful in understanding his legal views and the most sensitive to the executive branch."
.@KamalaHarris: "This is a hearing about who will sit on the highest court of our land...& some of the most important principles behind the integrity of our system of justice is that we have due process & transparency... I ask we revisit Sen Blumenthal's motion to suspend."
BLUMENTHAL: "I've made a motion that is properly before this committee. The chairman said earlier he has never been through a confirmation process like this. The reason is that no administration in the past has engaged in this kind of concealment. That's the reason very simply."
Kavanaugh wears a grim expression on his face as a protester shouts about his record on reproductive health care
Grassley can barely read his opening statement over the shouts of protesters!
Grassley is out here quoting random op-eds to make a case that failed SCOTUS nominee Robert Bork was treated "shamefully" 30 years ago.
Grassley, without a hint of irony, characterizes the Kavanaugh nomination process as "the most thorough and transparent in history." #gaslighting
@SenFeinstein: "The president that nominated you has said 'I will nominate someone who is anti-choice, and pro-gun.' And we believe what he said. We cannot find the documents that absolve from that conclusion. So what women have won...is very important to this side of the aisle."
FEINSTEIN: "The impact of overturning Roe is much broader than a woman's right to choose. It is about protecting the most personal decisions we all make from govt intrusion...I deeply believe that all these cases protect Americans from over-involvement of govt in their lives."
FEINSTEIN: "In your own words, gun laws are unconstitutional unless they are traditional. You concluded that banning assault weapons is unconstitutional because they have not historically been banned. This means that even as weapons become more dangerous they cannot be regulated"
FEINSTEIN: "If the Supreme Court were to adopt your reasoning [about gun regulations], I fear the number of victims would continue to grow and citizens would be rendered powerless in enacting sensible gun laws. So this is a big part of my very honest concern."
Sen @OrrinHatch: "You volunteer in the community, coach youth basketball. You are the sort of person many of us would like to have as a friend and colleague. You also apparently like to eat pasta with ketchup. But nobody is perfect... you are a smart, decent, normal person." 🙄
Hatch grows frustrated as protesters shout-down his opening statement
It's chaos as protesters shout down Hatch, who says, "these people are so out of line they shouldn't be allowed in the room."

Hatch then gives up the game by saying, "I'm proud of the president for nominating you, and I wish you the best because we are going to confirm you."
.@SenatorLeahy: "Many of us feel you may have intrigued [Trump] for another reason - your expansive view of executive power and executive immunity...we have a president who declared in the last 24 hours that the DOJ shouldn't prosecute Republicans. It's Alice in wonderland."
LEAHY: "Today the Senate is not simply phoning in our vetting obligation, we're discarding it. It's not only shameful, it is a sham...I've represented Vermont for 44 years, believing the Senate can & should be the conscience of the nation. Today with this hearing it is not."
LEAHY: "Any claim this has been a thorough, transparent process is down right Orwellian. This is the most incomplete, most partisan, least transparent vetting for any Supreme Court nominee I have ever seen. And I've seen more of those than any person serving in the Senate today."
.@JohnCornyn's opening statement is interrupted by protesters, one of whom yells, "Vote no! Vote for my children!"

Two protesters are forcibly removed from the hearing room.
.@SenatorDurbin: "You are the nominee of President Trump. This is a president who has shown us consistently that he is contemptuous of the rule of law...There are many of us who are concerned about the future of this country and democracy."
DURBIN: "If you believe that your public record is one you can stand behind and defend, I hope that at the end of this you will ask this committee to suspend until we are given all the documents... if your effort today continues to conceal & hide documents, it raises suspicion."
.@tedcruz tries to gaslight the American public by touting the sheer number of pages of Kavanaugh documents that have been released, rather than the unusual percentage of requested documents that have been withheld.
.@amyklobuchar : 42,000 documents were dumped on us last night. We simply can't review that much material in 12 hours.

GRASSLEY: Well, Republicans had the same amount of time, and we're not complaining.

KLOBUCHAR: .... Yeah, that's kinda the point.
.@BenSasse dismisses concerns that Kavanaugh's appointment will result in people dying because of his positions on guns, the environment, reproductive rights, and other matters as "drivel" that is "patently absurd."
SASSE: "People are going to pretend there haven't been screaming protesters saying women are going to die at every hearing for decades. This has been happening. This is a 31-year tradition. There's nothing new the last 18 months...the hysteria has nothing to do w/you." #hysteria
.@ChrisCoons: "We have to confront an uncomfortable but important question about whether Trump may have selected you w/an eye toward protecting himself... When we spoke you agreed that we have a shared concern about the legitimacy of SCOTUS... In my view it is today in jeopardy."
Longest-tenured senator likens Kavanaugh hearing with an Orwellian dystopia thinkprogress.org/patrick-leahy-…
The nation's foremost virtue-signaler, @JeffFlake, devotes 2+ minutes of his opening statement to slathering praise on Brett Kavanaugh for his abilities as..... [checks notes]..... a youth sports coach.
.@SenBlumenthal: "There is a basic principle of our Constitution- 'no one can select a judge in his own case.' That's what the president is potentially doing here, selecting a justice on SCOTUS who potentially will cast a decisive vote in his own case."
After his motion to adjourn the hearing is again rejected by Grassley, Blumenthal says he "will proceed under protest."

A protester erupts to criticize Grassley's refusal to let senators vote on Blumenthal's motion.
A protester yelling "stop the oppression of women!" is hauled out of the hearing room
It's happening right out in the open
Cory Booker's "opening statement" was over 20 minutes long.
.@KamalaHarris: "Weeks ago, POTUS' personal lawyer & campaign chairman were found guilty or pleaded guilty to 8 felonies. The president's lawyer under oath declared that POTUS directed him to commit crimes...that same POTUS is racing to appoint to a lifetime position on SCOTUS."
HARRIS: "When he was part of an investigation into a Dem POTUS, the nominee was dogged in demanding answers. Yet he now argues presidents should not be held accountable -- a position that I'm sure is not lost on this POTUS. These positions are not impartial. They're partisan."
.@LindseyGrahamSC is devoting his opening statement to attacking Hillary Clinton. #BeyondParody
Republican senator repeatedly dismisses women’s concerns about Kavanaugh as ‘hysteria’ thinkprogress.org/ben-sasse-kava…
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