Highlighting a divide within the party over how to best move forward with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski hinted that she could support an FBI probe into sexual assault allegations.
When asked by one reporter on Tuesday whether she would endorse such an investigation, the Alaska Republican said it would “clear up” a lot of the unanswered questions surrounding the nominee’s behavior more than 30 years ago.
Many in GOP leaders have called for both Kavanaugh and the first of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, to be allowed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrats, however, have largely criticized that approach as insufficient, with many endorsing a federal investigation prior to a confirmation vote.
With narrow control of the Senate, Republicans are shoring up support among key voters — including the party’s two female senators.
Earlier this week, authorities arrested dozens of protesters outside the office of Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. The demonstrators were attempting to convince her to vote no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Murkowski, the other female GOP senator, answered MSNBC’s Manu Raju’s question on the subject this week, two days ahead of a hearing set for Thursday.
I just asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski, key GOP swing vote, if there should be a full FBI investigation into allegations from Kavanaugh’s past. “It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn’t it?” she said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 25, 2018
“It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn’t it?” Murkowski said when asked if the FBI should launch a full investigation into the allegations.
The first claims came to light publicly after a contentious round of questioning by the judiciary committee earlier this month.
Republicans have since questioned the timing, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly calling the interruption to the confirmation process a “smear campaign” initiated by the Democratic Party.
According to Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, Murkowski has told those close to her that she looks forward to Thursday’s testimony in her effort to uncover the truth behind the allegations.
From colleague Kevin Kirby. GOP AK Sen Lisa Murkowski says she hopes Thursday’s hrng will clear up a lot of questions on Kavanaugh & Ford
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 25, 2018
“From colleague Kevin Kirby. GOP AK Sen Lisa Murkowski says she hopes Thursday’s hrng will clear up a lot of questions on Kavanaugh & Ford,” Pergram tweeted.
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