Kavanaugh nomination moves forward as Flake calls for FBI investigation

S Kavanaugh Ford hearing in the Senate

S Kavanaugh Ford hearing in the Senate

Hill also addressed the time that has passed since the alleged attempted sexual assault took place.

Democrats have for almost two weeks been calling on the bureau to look into the allegations against Kavanaugh and repeatedly pressed the nominee to support that demand at a hearing Thursday where Ford testified. But that advance came with an asterisk.

Kavanaugh testified Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee over an allegation of sexual assault when he was in high school. This country is being ripped apart here. "It took courage to take a stand and call for a one-week FBI investigation to get to the bottom of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh". One day earlier, he had blistered the Senate process as "a total sham", accused Democrats of a conspiracy of obstruction and declared on Twitter, "The Senate must vote!" "There is no question that Judge Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and in a different political environment, he would be confirmed overwhelmingly".

The FBI, as Grassley and Kavanaugh pointed out in Thursday's hearing, wouldn't make any independent findings about the substance of the claims. But there was no specific direction as to what that might include.

If all 10 Democrats on the committee vote against Kavanaugh, the spotlight would shine on Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is retiring from the Senate after this year and has shown a willingness to defy Trump. To satisfy her, the committee released a letter from Judge reiterating late Thursday that he did not recall the incident and explaining that as a "recovering alcoholic and a cancer survivor" he has "struggled with depression and anxiety" and avoids public speaking. "In my view there's no reason not to utilize the resources of law enforcement to do a full and fair investigation". Kavanaugh has said he will not ask the White House to request one, and Grassley argues that one isn't necessary.

But he told the senators he will "not be intimidated" into withdrawing even if "you may defeat me in the final vote", also warning Democrats that "what goes around, comes around".

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of Friday's uncertainty. This morning, the Judiciary Committee reported out Judge Kavanaugh favorably.

On his way to the committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, Flake was confronted by a woman who said she was the victim of sexual assault. "Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened". The stunning confrontation was captured by television cameras. Susan Collins, of ME, all Republicans, joined West Virginia Democrat Sen.

For all those Republicans crowing on and on about how process is being trampled here, they sure aren't rushing to follow protocol and interview Brett Kavanaugh's alleged co-conspirator, Mark Judge. Democrats have been calling for such a probe, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it was unnecessary.

Attention turned to a handful of undecided moderates in both parties, most notably Sens.

In a major development, Sen.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said he supported Flake's call for a further probe "so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote".

Confirming Kavanaugh would be an important milestone for Republicans and the president, as it would tilt the balance of power on the high court to conservatives.

Murkowski and Flake were seen heading to McConnell's office Friday afternoon after the Judiciary Committee vote.

In his testimony on Thurdsay, Brett Kavanaugh himself cited the approval he's received from the ABA as did other Republicans, including Sen.

And there are also three Democrats who voted to confirm President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, and none of them has said whether they'll support Kavanaugh: Sens.

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