In reversal, Trump directs supplemental FBI investigation, reiterates support for Kavanaugh

Image Brendan Smialowski  AFP  Getty Images

Image Brendan Smialowski AFP Getty Images

"I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination".

The Utah Republican said that Christine Blasey Ford was a "very good witness" and was "very self-assured, very interesting" but that Thursday's hearing - where she testified emotionally about her allegation that Kavanaugh had held her down - groped her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream, didn't have any corroborating evidence to back up the claim.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), another Democrat up for reelection in November in a red state, said he would vote "no" on Kavanaugh'.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday along party lines to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday, the US Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to take a vote on whether to recommend that the full Senate confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

However, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said his full support of Kavanaugh was conditional on allowing a one-week FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations the nominee has faced in recent weeks.

The committee said the supplemental FBI background investigation would be "limited to current credible allegations against the nominee".

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As The Associated Press notes, "Republicans are concerned, among other reasons, that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more hard". In fact, it's the White House that would have to ask the FBI to investigate.

Ford's allegations have thrown the outcome in doubt, however, in the 51-49 Republican-controlled Senate. Flake for Federal Bureau of Investigation resources to examine allegations by college professor Christine Blasey Ford that the nominee tried to rape her when the two were teenagers. Republicans have argued Democrats are engaged in a smear campaign aimed at halting a Senate vote and scoring political points before November's mid-term elections.

During testimony that one senator described as "riveting", Ford said she was "100 per cent certain" that Kavanaugh assaulted her in 1982. "I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate".

She described in detail how an inebriated Kavanaugh and another teen, Mark Judge, locked her in a room at a house party as Kavanaugh was grinding and groping her.

"I strongly object. What a railroad job", said Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, after the decision. "Boy, y'all want power and I hope you don't get it". "The Senate must vote!"

"I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, "grinding" against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls' clothing to expose private body parts", Swetnick said. Jeff Flake that he would not vote in Kavanaugh's favor without a follow-on probe. GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) remain undecided.

Then they heard a fiery, tearful and defensive rebuttal from Kavanaugh, who denied the allegations but pointedly refused to explain to Sen.

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