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Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has said repeatedly that she didn’t decide to vote "no" on then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because of the sexual assault allegations against him.
However, she did know about the allegations when she announced her decision, a fact she denied during an Oct. 25, 2018, debate against Republican challenger and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
"I made my decision on Kavanaugh before the allegations surfaced, and it was all about Kavanaugh's alliance and allegiance to dark money and unlimited political contributions," McCaskill said during the debate.
Here's the timeline:
The Washington Post published its story outlining California professor Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct on Sept. 16, 2018.
As of that date, McCaskill had yet to announce how she would vote on the nominee.
The next day, Sept. 17, 2018, statement said that she was "deeply troubled by these allegations" and that they should be investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee. In it, she did not disclose how she planned to vote.
McCaskill’s statement about her vote came a few days later, on Sept. 19, 2018. In that statement, she acknowledged the allegations against Kavanaugh but said that she did not base her decision on them.
"(W)hile the recent allegations against him are troubling and deserve a thorough and fair examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee, my decision is not based on those allegations but rather on his positions on several key issues, most importantly the avalanche of dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy," the statement read.
McCaskill repeated a version of the claim in an Oct. 30 interview with CNN, saying she "made her decision before the allegations had even really surfaced, way before the ugly confirmation process."
McCaskill’s decision to vote "no" did precede other allegations of sexual misconduct. The story about a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, broke in the New Yorker on Sept. 23, 2018. A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, came forward on Sept. 26.
Ford and Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, 2018, a little more than a week after McCaskill made her official statement.
McCaskill said that she made her decision to vote against Kavanaugh before allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
McCaskill did say in her statement at the time that her "no" vote was based on Kavanaugh's position on several issues, including dark money. But McCaskill did know about the sexual assault allegation from Ford. The other allegations from Ramirez and Swetnick had not yet been made public.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
C-SPAN, "Missouri Senate Debate," Oct. 25, 2018
Politico, "Flake opposes quick vote on Kavanaugh, putting confirmation in doubt," Sept. 16, 2018
The Washington Post, "California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault," Sept. 16, 2018
Statement, Claire McCaskill, "McCaskill Statement on Judge Kavanaugh," Sept. 17, 2018
KCUR, "Blunt, McCaskill call for inquiry into Kavanaugh allegations," Sept. 17, 2018
Statement, Claire McCaskill, "Citing concerns on dark money, McCaskill to oppose nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to Supreme Court," Sept. 19, 2018
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Sen. Claire McCaskill to vote 'no' on Brett Kavanaugh; Hawley: 'no surprise here,'" Sept. 19, 2018
The New Yorker, "Senate Democrats investigate a new allegation of sexual misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s college years," Sept. 23, 2018
Tweet, attorney Michael Avenatti, Sept. 26, 2018
CNN, "Claire McCaskill slams 'crazy Democrats' — and her GOP opponent — to save Senate seat," Oct. 30, 2018
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