The Latest: Senate panel receives FBI report on Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
The Senate Judiciary Committee says it has received an FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley tweeted early Thursday, “Supplemental FBI background file for Judge Kavanaugh has been received.”
Grassley is expected to read the FBI report on Thursday morning, followed by his colleagues. Because the report is confidential, senators will not be allowed to talk about what’s in it.
Republicans agreed to ask the FBI for an additional background check on Kavanaugh after his first accuser, Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford, testified last week that he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the accusation.
Ford’s attorneys have said she was not contacted for an interview. But the FBI spoke to a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were in college. Kavanaugh says that accusation is false.
The full Senate is preparing to weigh in on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court with an initial vote on Friday.
In setting the voting process in motion, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to call for a final vote over the weekend.
Allegations of sexual misconduct when Kavanaugh was in high school and college have rocked President Donald Trump’s effort to put the conservative appeals court judge on the high court.
Although Kavanaugh has denied the allegations of three women, they proved so controversial that Trump directed the FBI to re-open a background investigation.
Senators are expected to begin reviewing the FBI report on Thursday in a secure room in the Capitol complex. They are not supposed to divulge the contents of the agency’s background reports.
Lawyers for the California college professor accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teens are criticizing the scope of the re-opened investigation by the FBI.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion Wednesday night setting up a Friday vote on whether to limit debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination and move forward.
In a statement Wednesday night, lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford say the additional FBI background investigation didn’t include interviewing Ford or the witnesses they say corroborate her testimony. In that light, they say it can’t be called an investigation.
Ford’s lawyers go on to say they are “profoundly disappointed” that those directing the probe “were not interested in seeking the truth.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a key procedural step to begin voting on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The Republican leader filed a motion setting up a Friday vote on whether to limit debate on Kavanaugh and move forward.
A simple majority of 51 votes will be needed for Kavanaugh’s nomination to advance. A final vote could come Saturday.
Senators delayed a vote on Kavanaugh so the FBI could conduct a background investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Kavanaugh denies the allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee expected to receive the report from the FBI Wednesday evening.
A handful of Republicans and Democrats have not decided whether to support Kavanaugh. Their votes will likely decide whether he is confirmed.