Senators swap accusations over past FBI Kavanaugh probes

Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate and changed Senate rules a year ago to end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.

It is not a done deal, however.

The Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority, is expected to first hold a vote to limit debate on the nominee on Friday at 10:30, one hour after the Senate convenes. Steve Daines says he will be at his daughter's wedding on the same day - even though he plans to make it back in time for the vote. "If confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law", he concluded".

Republicans insisted that a almost week-long investigation, summed up in the FBI dossier, had turned up nothing to corroborate the sexual assault allegations against the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who now sits on a federal court in Washington.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he "might have been too emotional at times" in his testimony.

But that evolved into a late-summer spectacle after Ford accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at an alcohol-infused high school gathering in 1982, when both were teenagers.

Kavanaugh's nomination has become a flashpoint in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

"He gratuitously indulged in hyperpartisan rhetoric against "the left, ' describing his stormy confirmation as 'a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fuelled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election" and 'revenge on behalf of the Clintons, '" The Post's editorial board wrote.

Confirmation would hand Trump a clear victory and tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favor of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the USA military.

Campaign: Women attend a vigil in front of a court house in Brooklyn, New York, calling for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be blocked.

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So far all three remain undecided, although each of them voted in favor of Kavanaugh during Friday's procedural vote. Kavanaugh also testified and denied the allegations. "I appreciate his generosity as well as his dedication to family and country".

"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been".

Flake said on Friday that he will vote yes "unless something big changes".

A hefty police presence added an air of anxiety, as did thousands of noisy anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators who gathered outside the Supreme Court and in Senate office buildings.

At a signal from organizers, the group began holding up signs and chanting.

Democrats say Republicans have tried to rush the process.

The Senate is taking a crucial vote Friday to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. "There's nothing in it that we didn't already know". As the lone Republican to vote against cloture, it would be very odd for her to then vote for his confirmation.

Collins said her vote to move the confirmation forward did not signal how she will vote in the end.

"What we know for sure is the Federal Bureau of Investigation report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters about the document, which was sent to Congress overnight.

The top Senate Judiciary Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, said the report appeared insufficient to lay to rest concerns about Kavanaugh.

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