- The number of protesters in the US Capitol building has skyrocketed in recent weeks during the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
- Some Republican senators have been given increased security details, as others have been accosted in elevators and hallways of the Capitol.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the end of the week, whether or not the protests continue.
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell excoriated protesters in the US Capitol building, which have been increasing in numbers throughout the fight over confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
During a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, McConnell addressed the surge of protesters in the public congressional office buildings and elsewhere in Washington.
“I’m not suggesting we’re the victims here, Mr. President,” McConnell said to the presiding senator in the chamber. “But I want to make it clear to these people who are chasing my members around the hall here, or harassing them at the airports, or going to their homes, we will not be intimidated by these people.”
“There is no chance in the world they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty,” he added. “I don’t care how many members they chase, how many people they harass here in the halls, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: we will not be intimidated by these people.”
The sheer number of protesters in the Capitol has skyrocketed during Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation process.
In accosting lawmakers, the protesters have prompted heightened security. A number of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, have been assigned police escorts as they move throughout the Capitol.
One of the most notable incidents with protesters during the Kavanaugh confirmation was on Friday, when two individuals blocked the elevator doors from closing to shout at Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the deciding Republicans on the nomination.
Flake ultimately struck a deal with Democrats on the committee to prompt a weeklong supplemental FBI investigation on accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, setting a vote for the end of this week.
And McConnell made clear in his Wednesday morning speech that a vote would come at the end of this week, whether the protests continue or not.
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