The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted along party lines, 11-10, to advance the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote.
Seconds before casting his vote in favor of advancing Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Sen. Jeff Flake, made a dramatic move saying his final vote for or against Kavanaugh would be contingent on the FBI conducting an investigation into the accusations.
“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to, but not more than, one week, in order to let the FBI to do an investigation, limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there,” Flake said before casting his vote for Kavanaugh in the committee. “I think that we ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important. This country is being ripped apart here. We’ve got to make sure that we do due diligence.”
Republicans can afford to lose no more than two of their 51 members on the floor to confirm Kavanaugh, making Flake’s comment all the more important.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has become complicated over the past two weeks after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in Northern California, said Kavanaugh tried to “attack [her]and remove [her]clothing” during a party when both of them were high school students in Maryland in the early 80s.
Since that time two more women have made accusations against Kavanaugh.
Ford said she is “100 percent” certain Kavanaugh attacked her. Meanwhile, he continues to call the allegations “completely false.”
It is unclear what Senate Republican Leadership will do in response to Flake’s request for further investigation.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.