On Friday, President Trump announced that he had ordered the FBI to investigate the allegations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, after Senate Republicans agreed to delay his nomination for one week.
Trump said that he had “ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” adding, “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited to scope and completed in less than one week.”
Republicans in the Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote the the full Senate, passing the vote along party lines in an 11-10 decision, but yielded to Democrats’ efforts to delay the nomination for a week of further investigation.
The move comes after key swing vote Republican Senators including Jeff Flake of Arizona, sided with Democrats, and insisted the president to order the FBI to investigate in order to place a confirmation vote.
From The Hill:
President Trump on Friday asked the FBI to investigate sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh after Senate Republicans agreed to a one-week investigation, temporarily delaying his nomination to the Supreme Court.
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump said in the statement released by the White House.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday afternoon requested that Trump instruct the FBI to conduct the supplemental investigation after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and others called for the move.
Flake said the FBI should conduct an investigation that is “limited in scope and time,” and said it should focus solely on credible accusations against Kavanaugh and last no longer than a week.
Multiple senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) soon followed.
Flake, after outlining his call for the supplemental FBI investigation, joined other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee on Friday in voting to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.
Republicans are set to hold a procedural vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday, though a final vote set for early next week is likely to be delayed to allow the FBI investigation to wrap up.
Democrats had been calling for such an investigation for days and received GOP support following a rollercoaster day on Capitol Hill on Thursday, when Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Judiciary panel.
Ford delivered gripping testimony outlining her allegation that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothes during a house gathering in 1982 when she and Kavanaugh were high schoolers.
Kavanaugh, who has flatly denied the allegations, offered a forceful defense of himself during the hearing. Speaking after Ford, the nominee called his confirmation process a “national disgrace” and insisted he had never sexually assaulted anyone.
Trump on Friday afternoon called Ford a “credible” witness and described her testimony as “compelling,” but also praised Kavanaugh’s performance and told reporters at the White House that he had given no thought to having another nominee.