Senate Republicans Are Setting Up The Final Vote On Brett Kavanaugh Nomination

Lawyer: FBI has completed Mark Judge interview

Senators nervously awaited the arrival of a new Federal Bureau of Investigation report on sexual allegations that could make or break Brett Kavanaugh's tottering Supreme Court nomination Wednesday as aggressive protesters and an unusually strong security response added to a feeling of high anxiety inside the U.S. Capitol.

Speaking at a press briefing at the White House, Sanders argued that Trump was not making fun of the California psychology professor, who alleged that as a teenager Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh held her down, put his hand over her mouth and tried to remove her clothing.

At a political rally in MS on Tuesday night, Trump mocked Ford's testimony about the alleged assault in Maryland in 1982 when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.

"What neighbourhood was it in?" I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

"I had one beer!" he said, impersonating Ford. "That's the only thing I remember", Trump - who was himself accused during the 2016 presidential race of sexual misconduct with numerous women - said in his imitation of Ford's testimony. "And right now, that's sort of where our focus needs to be", said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who has traded barbs with Trump and will retire at year's end. Jeff Flake of Arizona said on NBC's Today show that the remarks were "kind of appalling".

Added Murkowski a few hours later: "I thought the president's comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable". But it raises questions about how such words will affect five senators - all moderates - whose votes on Kavanaugh will be decisive. With Republicans defending majorities in the House and Senate next month, officials cast Trump's visit as an attempt to get ahead of a potentially perilous situation.

The two other Republican female senators say victims should be heard, but they want Kavanaugh confirmed. Judge, Smyth and Keyser say they don't recall the incident described by Ford.




The fast-moving story around embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh continues to unfold.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's accusation as well as allegations by two other women, all dating from the 1980s, while accusing Democrats of a political "hit".

Trump limited the investigation to no more than a week.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump did not back away from his comments at the rally, instead attacking Kavanaugh's Democratic critics. It will go first to the White House, then to the Senate Judiciary Committee and then all senators will be allowed to read it in a secure location, Republican senators said.

Sanders cribbed from Kellyanne Conway's script earlier in the day, insisting "the president was stating fact" though, in fairness, she stopped short of using Conway's gag that Ford has "been treated like a Fabergé egg by all of us, beginning with me and the president". There are facts that she can not remember: "how she got home, how she got there, where the house was, what the date was". Voters will be casting ballots in Nov 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from Trump's party. "Normally, it is not, out of respect for the privacy for the person being investigated, but this is an unusual circumstance", said Sen. "This is all part of the organised effort to delay, obstruct and intimidate, including those of us who will be voting this week".

Harcourt said they signed out of concern about a rush to judgment, in the belief that for the Senate to elevate Kavanaugh "without full information and deliberation to the Supreme Court would undermine the respect owed" to the institution.

"It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr Ford's allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you", Dr Ford's lawyers said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

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