Two of three Republican holdouts who’ve yet to declare whether they’d confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh signalled they’re satisfied with the FBI probe into allegations he sexually abused women in high school and college.
"It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews. That's really all I have to say right now,” Maine Sen. Susan Collins told reporters, after viewing the confidential report released early Thursday morning.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake also told reporters that he needs to finish reviewing the report but also found the investigation thorough. "We’ve seen no additional corroborating information” about the allegations, he said.
Those comments might just be the death knell for Democrats and activists hoping to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. It was Flake who tapped the brakes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation last week, after the Senate Judiciary Committee member indicated that he would not confirm Kavanaugh without one.
Republicans hold the Senate by a slim 51-49 majority, and need 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh. Vice President Mike Pence can step in to cast a vote in the event of a tie.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, long viewed as another pivotal swing vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, has yet to say what she thinks about the investigation. North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin have also not commented on the FBI investigation. Heitkamp and Manchin are the only two undecided Democrats left in the Senate and, not so coincidentally, running in states Donald Trump won in 2016.
Democrats Thursday were left complaining about the scope of the supplemental investigation into Kavanaugh conducted this week. “The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Thursday, pointing out that the FBI did not interview either Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school gathering in the 1980s. ““Democrats agreed that the investigation scope should be limited. We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI’s hands.”
Cover: Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, takes a phone call on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. The White House expressed confidence that nothing in a supplemental FBI investigation prompted by sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh would derail the Supreme Court nominee, as Senate Republicans press ahead with plans for a Friday test vote. (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)