Senators view Federal Bureau of Investigation report on Kavanaugh

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Republicans are hoping that the bruising fight to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could help them stay in control of Congress this November.

Republicans on Thursday praised the probe's report as they began reviewing the single copy provided to senators one-by-one, while Democrats rebuked it over the lack of fresh interviews with either Ford or Kavanaugh.

The Senate Judicial Committee's top Democrat Dianne Feinstein said she not yet had access to the entire report - but that from what she had seen it appeared insufficient to lay to rest concerns about Kavanaugh.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives to read the FBI's report on their investigation into sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2018. That is expected Friday morning. A procedural vote could come on Friday and a final vote shortly after that. Both votes need a simple majority to pass. But numerous Republicans emerged to tell reporters they saw nothing implicating Kavanaugh in sexual misconduct.

Footage of the exchange on Thursday shows a woman standing behind Graham attempt to confront him about Kavanaugh not taking a polygraph test before Graham turns his head to address her. Agreement by a majority of the 100 senators would advance Kavanaugh's nomination. One senator said it was a "cover-up" and a "complete embarrassment". Susan Collins (R-Maine) in Bangor last weekend, calling on her to vote against Kavanaugh.

Special agents have been at work since then, talking with people in the case.

"Senators ought to wipe away the muck from all the mudslinging and politics and look at this nomination with clear eyes", Grassley said, echoing accusations against Democrats that McConnell has been making.

Flake said the FBI investigation could inject the highly partisan process with credibility. Flake and Collins both have praised the FBI investigation.

Feinstein added, "Democrats agreed that the investigation's scope should be limited". "The Trump White House working with the Republican leadership in the Senate deliberately circumscribed this investigation so that only a small handful of people will be questioned".

Earlier, White House spokesperson Raj Shah rebuffed Democrats' complaints, saying: "What critics want is a never-ending fishing expedition into high school drinking".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., complained to reports that he thought the whole process involved with the vetting of Kavanaugh had been "greatly constrained".

The party has only a 51-49 Senate majority.

Thousands of protesters, some holding signs saying "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope", rallied in front of the Supreme Court in opposition to Kavanaugh, whose nomination has become a flashpoint in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault. That is why when Sen.

Democrats not only oppose Kavanaugh; but they also remain deeply embittered by the experience that closed out the tenure of President Barack Obama, when McConnell refused to schedule a vote on Obama's nominee for a Supreme Court vacancy that Trump eventually got to fill. But they escalated the drama to another level by involving the ongoing national reckoning over sexual assault and the #MeToo movement.

The California psychology professor has testified that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually abused her in a locked room at a high school party in the 1980s and has said she believed he was trying to rape her. Kavanaugh has denied her assertions and those of two other women, who have accused him of other instances of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

Ramirez, who is a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale, said Kavanaugh drunkenly exposed himself. These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations. "I had one beer - that's the only thing I remember", he stated inaccurately. "This investigation found no hint of misconduct", he said.

  • Joey Payne