‘Absolutely nothing’ to prove claims against Kavanaugh, confirmation to proceed - Senate GOP

Graham chides Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser, but adds ‘it can be worse’ | Charlotte Observer

McConnell takes key step toward vote on Kavanaugh nomination

As Senate Republicans moved quickly for a vote, Democrats and one key Republican, Jeff Flake, insisted that the FBI be allowed to reopen its background investigation of Kavanaugh.

The two other Republican female senators say victims should be heard, but they want Kavanaugh confirmed. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, outside the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room and tried to give him a statement opposing Kavanaugh.

He added: "This investigation found no hint of misconduct".

Top Democrats hit back after getting their own briefing.

A week from today, the reporters and Democrats who told us the FBI completed the Anita Hill investigation in less than a week will tell us the FBI needs more time now.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, called for an end to what he called "partisan histrionics" and the "politics of personal destruction" and for a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and with Vice President Mike Pence playing the role of tie-breaker if necessary, they would need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview Kavanaugh himself or Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in 1982.

Lawyers for two women making claims against Mr Kavanaugh - Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - also criticised the FBI's probe.

McConnell said the Senate can not become known for destroying the reputations of nominees based on uncorroborated allegations from 40 years ago.

"I believe Kavanaugh is part of a Big Old Boys club that is going to protect him no matter what", said Angela Trzepkowski, 55, from Delaware. The FBI interviewed only 10 people. Flake said he saw no additional corroborating information against Kavanaugh, although he was "still reading" it. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied that allegation and other allegations of sexual misconduct, and stated that he has never sexually assaulted anyone in his life.

Mr Trump weighed in hours later in a tweet in which he denounced what he called "the harsh and unfair treatment" of Mr Kavanaugh.

"This great life can not be ruined by mean and despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!" But, he said in a press release, "If his nomination were to fall short, I would encourage President Trump to re-nominate Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court".

Another on-the-fence Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, reportedly met sexual assault survivors in her office on Thursday.

Heitkamp has been viewed as a potential swing vote and one of the senators who could decide the fate of the nomination.

Senate Democrats are disputing Republicans' suggestion that there's been no "whiff" of any inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse in Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's previous background checks.

SHAPIRO: I know there's been a lot of frustration on both sides of the aisle about how this has been handled.

She testified that a drunken Mr Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she screamed.

Capitol police said late Wednesday they had charged a former Senate staffer with posting private, identifying information about one or more senators on the internet.

Professors from Harvard, where Kavanaugh previously taught, and Yale, Kavanaugh's alma mater, have also signed the letter.

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