White House authorizes broader Federal Bureau of Investigation interviews in Kavanaugh review

This prosecutor will question Christine Blasey Ford

This prosecutor will question Christine Blasey Ford

While Flake was prepared to vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination earlier in the day Friday before reaching an agreement with Coons and several other senators to effectively force a one week delay to allow time for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct interviews into sexual assault allegations against the nominee, his comments Monday evening rejected the impulse to move ahead as quickly as possible.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME - one of three Republican senators who was instrumental last week in holding up Kavanaugh's confirmation vote - said she had extensive conversation with the White House counsel's office and is "confident that the FBI is doing a thorough investigation and that it will be helpful to us as we make our decisions". The FBI probe was launched after Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona announced he would not support Kavanaugh's confirmation without a new investigation into the allegations.

Speaking at a news conference at the White House on the reworked free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, Mr Trump said he wanted the investigation to "go quickly".

The FBI is spending a week looking into allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr Kavanaugh after President Trump ordered an investigation.

That means that if all Democrats vote against Mr Kavanaugh, Mr Trump could not afford to have more than one Republican senator oppose his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

"I guess I want to say, 'Thank you, ' " Walsh said.

The president added, "We don't want to go on a witch hunt, do we?"

Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, said Sunday that testimony would be taken from Ramirez and Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, who has been named by two of three women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Kavanaugh protest deeply personal for Ford supporters
Ford said she remembered the boys laughing - a noise, she said on Thursday, that has been seared into her memory for 36 years. Echoing Ford, he said he was "100 percent certain" he did not commit the assault.

Mitchell said the second problem was that Ford has been inconsistent with identifying Kavanaugh.

Some Democratic lawmakers claim the White House is keeping investigators from interviewing certain witnesses and have questioned how thorough an investigation that must be concluded by Friday can and will be. "Only 113 people have ever served on the Supreme Court, and I believe that we must do our level best to protect its sanctity".

Heitkamp, meanwhile, noted that Trump himself called for a "broader" FBI investigation into the allegations.

On Monday nine of the 10 Democrat Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray with a list of 24 people they believe should be interviewed. The one question I didn't ask is how about the last 20 years?

Senate Republicans compiled the list of four witnesses and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell shared it with the White House, the official and another source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

NY congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez warned Flake and other elected leaders that voters would end their careers should they support Trump's Supreme Court nominee. A spokesman for McConnell declined to clarify whether McConnell was referring to procedural votes or a final vote on confirming Kavanaugh. He has vehemently denied all allegations.

Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez's account that he exposed himself to her and thrust his genitalia in her face during a party at a Yale dormitory when they were both students there, as reported September 23 by The New Yorker.

Kavanaugh has emphatically denied Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a gathering when they were teens. Mr Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow 51-49 margin. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a "joke".

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