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Tester calls Ford testimony ‘credible’ and allegations ‘troubling’ but won’t commit on Kavanaugh vote

Posted at 10:54 PM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 21:54:45-04

BILLINGS- U.S. Sen Jon Tester remains undecided on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court following nine hours of testimony into allegations of sexual assault, according to his spokeswoman.

“Jon watched portions of the Judiciary Committee hearing today to hear from both witnesses. He finds Dr. Ford’s testimony credible and the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh deeply troubling. Jon will be taking time to review the full transcripts of the hearing as well as the Judge’s record and will continue to listen to the people of Montana about this lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land,” said Marnee Banks, a spokeswoman for the Montana Democrat.

The statement from Tester’s office came after the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh and a friend of holding her down and assaulting her more than three decades ago at a high school party in Maryland.

Kavanaugh, a federal judge, must win a majority vote of the U.S. Senate for confirmation to the high court.

Matt Rosendale, the Republican state auditor seeking to unseat Tester, released a statement Thursday blasting Senate Democrats during the hearing.

“From the very beginning, Senate Democrats made the decision to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and do whatever it takes to keep him off the bench. Rather than seek the truth, they engaged in a smear process plain and simple. How Senate Democrats handled these allegations have been harmful not only to Judge Kavanaugh and his family but to Dr. Ford as well. This 11th-hour political circus to destroy a good man’s reputation and hurt his family is disgraceful. The Senate should immediately vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Rosendale said in prepared.

Another Republican, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, reiterated his support for Kavanaugh following the hearings.

“I watched the entire hearing from gavel to gavel. I made it very clear from the beginning that I wanted to hear from both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh because of the seriousness of these allegations. And I thank both of them for coming before the Committee to be heard. But as I watched it today, I concluded that there is no corroborating evidence to support this serious allegation. Rather, this seems to be an orchestrated smear campaign intended to destroy Judge Kavanaugh at the eleventh hour. The Democrats turned this process into an embarrassing, political circus that will have lasting effects for generations to come. They should be ashamed. I look forward to casting my vote for Judge Kavanaugh,” Daines said in a prepared statement.

Related: 10 takeaways from the Brett Kavanaugh-Christine Blasey Ford hearings