On Politics: This Week’s Biggest Stories

From the gripping Kavanaugh hearings to developments at the United Nations General Assembly, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories this week (and some links, if you want to read further).

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on Friday to advance Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation. [Read the story]

But the vote came only after Republican senators agreed to a last-minute demand from Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona: to conduct a time-limited F.B.I. inquiry into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. [Read the story]

President Trump, bowing to the request from Republican leadership, formally ordered the F.B.I. to open an investigation. Here’s what that inquiry could entail. [Read the story]

Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony has raised questions about his neutrality and temperament, as well as the effect his confirmation could have on the court’s already fragile reputation as an institution devoted to law, not politics. [Read the story]

Additional Reading

At Times, Kavanaugh’s Defense Misleads or Veers Off Point

As Senator Collins Weighs Vote, Maine Women Size Up Blasey and Kavanaugh

How Americans Across the Country Are Reacting to Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony

Flashback: The Anita Hill Hearings Compared to Today

Before the hearings on Thursday, two more women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee. In a highly unusual appearance on Fox News, Judge Kavanaugh responded with an aggressive defense and vowed not to withdraw his nomination. [Read the story]

In an article published Sunday, one of the women, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that Judge Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a dorm party during her freshman year of college. [Read the story] And on Wednesday, Julie Swetnick said she had observed Judge Kavanaugh, then in high school, at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched, made “disoriented” with alcohol or drugs and “gang raped.” [Read the story]

A common theme connecting all the allegations is heavy drinking. A culture of hard partying permeated certain quarters of high school and college life in the 1980s, when binge drinking among teenagers reached record levels. [Read the story]

Additional Reading

Supreme Court Fight Goes Prime Time With Kavanaugh’s Fox News Interview

Debunking 5 (More) Viral Rumors About Kavanaugh’s Accusers

Trump Accuses Democrats of Running ‘Con Game’ Against Kavanaugh

In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Trump reaffirmed his commitment to an “America First” foreign policy, lashing out at states like Iran and Venezuela, while also offering praise for North Korea. [Read the story] And he accused another country of meddling in American elections: not Russia, but China. [Read the story]

Even as the president mingled in New York with world leaders (or didn’t), he could not separate himself from questions about what was happening in Washington, including whether his deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, would keep his job. [Read the White House memo]

Mr. Trump signed a revised free trade deal with South Korea on Monday, but the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement remained tenuous as of Friday evening. The United States and Mexico are poised to release the text of a trade deal that the two countries reached last month. [Read the story]

Additional Reading

U.N. General Assembly: Criticism and Praise for Trump Administration

Trump’s Tariffs May Hurt, but Quitting China Is Hard to Do

5 Takeaways From Trump’s News Conference at the United Nations

Republican leaders in battleground states like Missouri are increasingly worried that the furor over Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination will haunt them at the ballot box. [Read the story]

A coalition of major companies — including Walmart, Patagonia and Lyft — is making a big push to increase voter turnout. The companies argue that it’s a nonpartisan effort, but many of them have tangled with President Trump. [Read the story]

Representative Scott Taylor was expected to have a relatively easy time winning re-election in Virginia. But after his campaign was rocked by a petition scandal, he joined a handful of other Republicans facing accusations of misconduct and unexpectedly close races. [Read the story]

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