Cotton Leads GOP Justice Fight


Cotton Leads GOP Justice Fight

October 02, 2018

The only bars liberals seem preoccupied with are the ones Brett Kavanaugh visited in college. But Senate Democrats may want to focus on a bar of another kind: the Washington, D.C. Bar. According to Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), that's the investigation Americans should be watching. Because, unlike the FBI's seventh trip through Brett Kavanaugh's past, the Bar Association could prove who's actually lying. And as far as he's concerned, it's not who the media thinks it is.

"Just look at the timeline that came to light during the hearing last week," Senator Cotton told me on Monday's "Washington Watch." "Shortly after Miss Ford went to Dianne Feinstein, what happened? They recommended that she hire a left-wing attorney from Washington, D.C. to represent her. Attorneys who then went on to lie to Ms. Ford, apparently -- because she testified last week that she didn't know the Judiciary Committee had offered to fly to California to interview her. And that if she had known that, she would have accepted the offer, rather than go through the circus the Democrats put her through." Dr. Ford has been just as abused and exploited by the Left as Kavanaugh, he insists. "They betrayed her." Remember, he points out, "Ms. Ford said all along that she didn't want her allegations to be made public."

Like a lot of Republicans, Cotton was shocked to find out that Dr. Ford hadn't been told about the Judiciary Committee's offer to meet with her privately in California. "If you were gonna come out to see me, I would have happily hosted you and would have been happy to speak to you out there. It wasn't clear to me that that was the case." If Dr. Ford's attorneys lied to her, hoping to turn this into a public spectacle that hurt Kavanaugh, that's a violation of the D.C. Bar.

And that's not the only time Democrats took advantage of Dr. Ford, Cotton insisted. What most people don't understand is that there's a well-established procedure for allegations like hers. The two senior members of the committee -- in this case, Republican Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) -- work with the FBI to review the matter quietly. "I can tell you, Tony, it happens all the time -- hundreds of times for all of the nominees that are vetted. And it's not uncommon for the FBI to discover something in a nominee's background like abuse or a drinking problem or a gambling problem. And the nominee will frequently withdraw -- and do so discreetly..."

"Let's just remember what happened here," Senator Cotton went on. "Ms. Ford sent a letter, confidentially, to Dianne Feinstein in late July raising these allegations... Dianne Feinstein hid it from Chuck Grassley, she hid it from the FBI. She and Chuck Schumer kept it in their back pocket until after Judge Kavanaugh's hearing, until after they had a private session to ask about any sensitive matters, and then linked it to the media right before the vote -- solely to try to torpedo his nomination. The media got it, and only Dianne Feinstein and the Democratic congresswoman from California and their staffs had it, so it had to come from them somehow. And I think Congress needs to get to the bottom of it."

In the meantime, voters in battleground states aren't going easy on Democrats. At the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival on Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin (D) got an earful from locals, who made it clear: "If you don't vote for him, I won't vote for you." "I get that a lot," Manchin said. Another yelled, "Vote Kavanaugh!" and Manchin insisted, "I hear you." If he doesn't, he'll almost certainly hear the polls, which showed just how potent the issue is. West Virginia voters are solidly in Kavanaugh's camp, supporting his confirmation by a 30-point margin (58 percent to 28). Out in North Dakota, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) is feeling the heat of the Kavanaugh nomination, as Republican challenger Kevin Cramer continues to surge ahead, now with as much as a 10-percent lead.

The numbers follow the trend in Missouri, where red-state Democrat Claire McCaskill is watching her advantage melt away in the firestorm of the Kavanaugh hearings. Like a lot of Americans, they understand what the debate about the courts is all about. That's why the issue topped the social conservatives' list of concerns in 2016. They know the Left will use the court as a hammer to beat the country into submission on views that are too radical and unpopular to survive democratically.

Most voters agree with Senator Cotton, who knows what the Left is interested in -- and it isn't the truth. "They don't want to get to the facts, they don't want to reach a reasonable conclusion. They want to destroy Brett Kavanaugh and keep the president from filling this vacancy on the Supreme Court."


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


State Dept. Charges ahead with Visa Policy

October 02, 2018

The rainbow didn't just color the White House -- it colored Barack Obama's entire legacy. For eight years, Americans watched the 44th president's obsession with LGBT activism eclipse every other urgent issue. And the U.S. State Department was exhibit A.

No sooner had Hillary Clinton taken over as secretary than the White House ordered her to use the agency as a club to beat other nations into submission on sexual politics. Under her leadership -- and, later, Secretary John Kerry's -- the State Department worked, not to advance America's interests, but the interests of the Left's radical social agenda. Obviously, the strategy was for the State Department to force these policies on the international stage and then build pressure on the U.S. to adopt policies like it.

Secretary Kerry made that quite clear in a 2014 speech (before Obergefell) warning others that same-sex "spouses" of U.S. personnel would be treated as "married," regardless of the host country's beliefs. "Let me be clear," he lectured, "we oppose any effort by any country to deny visas for spouses of American staff. It's discriminatory, it's unacceptable, it has no place in the 21st century." Neither, apparently, did real diplomacy -- which, until President Obama's election, meant a respectful deference to other countries' values and traditions.

Fortunately, the Trump administration has real respect for other nations' beliefs -- and Secretary Mike Pompeo's agency is proving it. Yesterday, the administration announced a new policy at the State Department that would block diplomatic visas for the same-sex partners of any foreign officials and U.N. employees. As of Monday, couples will have to provide proof of marriage for their significant others to stay in the country after 2018. Right now, experts think that about 10 U.N. employees would be affected by the change.

"Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses," the U.S. mission wrote in a July 12 note to U.N.-based delegations. "Consistent with [State] Department policy, partners accompanying members of permanent missions or seeking to join the same must generally be married in order to be eligible" for a diplomatic visa.

To most conservatives, it was powerful rebuke of Hillary Clinton's 2009 decision to bypass the law for LGBT partners. And an important one. As it stands, only 12 percent of U.N. member states allow same-sex marriage -- putting the Obama State Department well out of step with the world. Thank goodness for the Trump administration, which has proven time and time again that its focus is religious freedom and human rights for everyone -- not special rights for a select few.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Pray. Vote. Stand.

October 02, 2018

Starting September 23, FRC launched seven weeks of focused prayer for the family, church, business, government, media, education, and entertainment. We're inviting people across America to join us in taking the pledge to pray, vote, and stand. Have you signed up? If you haven't, I encourage you to visit PrayVoteStand.com and add your name to the thousands committed to lifting up our nation in prayer, committing to vote in the midterm elections, and stand for our biblical values.

Each week, we're offering a special prayer guide, tailored to each area. This week's focus is the church. Won't you join us in seeking God's face in this critical time?


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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