GOP senator: Secret FBI report shows no Kavanaugh misconduct

United States President Donald J. Trump speaks with members of the media prior to boarding Marine One for his departure from the White House

United States President Donald J. Trump speaks with members of the media prior to boarding Marine One for his departure from the White House

A new FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh found nothing to corroborate sexual assault allegations against US President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, a top Republican senator said Thursday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has received the reports and will start reading the reports Thursday morning.

Just a single copy of the report was produced, which was not made public.

Two of the five swing-vote senators on the Kavanaugh nomination - Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona - both now appear satisfied with the FBI investigation, calling it "very thorough", and more importantly, saying they've seen no new corroborating information within it, while top Democrats are criticizing the report as "incomplete" and "very limited".

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chewed the most scenery, calling the process a "shameful spectacle that has embarrassed the senate". Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was confronted in an elevator by women sharing their experiences with sexual assault and asking him to vote against moving Kavanaugh's nomination forward.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans who said the midterm election was 'very important'.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was one of the senators who said she reviewed the material.

It was not immediately clear if the report, seen already by some Democrats as inadequate, would satisfy senators who have concerns about Kavanaugh's past, his character and temperament.

As thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters marched in the streets of Washington, Democrats assailed the latest Federal Bureau of Investigation probe as "incomplete" and constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of the conservative 53-year-old judge.

"This investigation found no hint of misconduct", Grassley said in a statement.

Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, has repeatedly denied Ford's accusations as well as those of two other women who accused him of sexual misconduct.

The scope of the investigation has become the latest political battle in the larger war over Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court. Should Republicans get the majority of votes they need - and Vice-President Mike Pence is available to cast the tie-breaker, if necessary - that would set up a decisive roll call on his confirmation, likely over the weekend.

Swing Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona - like other Republicans - said it contained "no additional corroborating information".

Amid complaints that some lawmakers were being confronted outside their homes, McConnell claimed on the Senate floor that the protesters were "part of the organized effort" to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have been at the centre of the Kavanaugh maelstrom for months, since they expressed concerns over Kavanaugh's anti-abortion views.

'Heidi made her decision, I'll make mine, ' he said.

Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia also has not declared how he'll vote.

The FBI interviewed several people, including three who Ford has said attended the 1982 high school gathering in suburban Maryland where she says Kavanaugh's attack occurred, plus another Kavanaugh friend. Background checks, unlike criminal investigations, are done for the benefit of the White House so that officials might have more information on people its want to nominate for critical government jobs.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin.

'The more outrageous our Democratic colleagues treat this nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, the more energized Republican voters are becoming, because they realize what the alternative is, ' Republican Sen.

On Wednesday, the three Republican senators key to Kavanaugh's approval blasted Trump for mocking Ford's memory lapses at a political rally.

Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down, trying to remove his clothing and covering her mouth when she screamed.

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