Two of the three Republican senators who remain undecided ahead of a planned confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh offered more positive assessments following the release of an FBI report on the matter.
Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was integral in stalling the confirmation log enough for the bureau to conduct an expanded background probe.
Soon after the White House forwarded the resulting report to the Senate, Flake released a statement indicating that the FBI had not revealed any new information to corroborate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982.
His comment echoed the initial reaction of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has also expressed uncertainty about Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Sen. Collins says "it appears to be a very thorough investigation." She plans to go back and read the full report later
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 4, 2018
CNN’s Jeremy Herb reported that Collins said the FBI appears to have conducted “a very thorough investigation,” though at the time she had not read the full report.
The Hill reported that Flake had just finished reviewing the document when he made a similar statement on the perceived scope of the FBI probe.
“I think Susan Collins was quoted as saying it was very thorough but no new corroborative information came out of it,” he said. “That’s accurate.”
Regardless of his assessment, Flake said he feels it was important to have the investigation to address uncertainties that remained after Kavanaugh and Ford testified before the committee last week.
“I wanted this pause; we’ve had this pause,” he said. “We’ve had the professionals, the FBI, determine — given the scope that we gave them, current credible allegations — to go and do their review, which they’ve done.”
As of this writing, neither the third undecided Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, or Sen. Joe Manchin, an undecided Democrat from West Virginia, had commented on the FBI probe.
If any two undecided senators cast a vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a tie in the Senate would be broken by Vice President Mike Pence.
As The Western Journal previously reported, Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley told senators that it is “time to vote” shortly after receiving the report.
“I’ve now received a committee staff briefing on the FBI’s supplement to Judge Kavanaugh’s background investigation file,” he said. “There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know.”
Grassley advised lawmakers to “look at this nomination with clear eyes” instead of through the lens of partisan bickering that has defined the process thus far.
“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified nominees to ever come before the Senate,” he said. “He’s served with distinction for 12 years on the nation’s most important circuit court and dedicated himself to serving the American public.”
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