Gardner mulls his judge vote

By Anna Staver
The Denver Post

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, hasn’t decided how he will vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who has faced sexual assault allegations, Gardner’s office said Thursday night.

The senator wants to finish reading the FBI report before making a decision, spokesman Casey Contres said. Gardner said he’d vote yes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation after meeting with the judge in July. However, that was before several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Later on Thursday, Politico reporter Burgess Everett tweeted that Gardner was sticking with Kavanaugh: “New statement: ‘Senator Gardner has been supportive of Judge Kavanaugh throughout the nomination. He had the opportunity to review the FBI report tonight. Nothing in the report changed his mind and he remains supportive of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.’ ”

Gardner’s office didn’t respond to a request to confirm whether the tweet was accurate.

The only physical copy of the FBI’s 46-page report on the allegations, completed Thursday, are being kept in a secure room inside the Capitol. Only senators and 10 committee staffers are allowed to read it.

Senators have filtered in and out of that room since Thursday morning, but all eyes have been on a handful of moderate Republicans and Democrats who will determine whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.

Before going to read the report Thursday evening, Gardner spent about 40 minutes meeting with 16 women from Colorado — the majority of whom are survivors of sexual violence.

“As a survivor of sexual violence, there’s a big overwhelming sense of fear of what the message is going to be if this man is confirmed to the Supreme Court,” said Fawn Bolak, one of the women who met with Gardner.