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Trump orders new Kavanaugh FBI probe, says it should be 'limited' in scope

The Senate Judiciary Committee conducts business on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):

4:49 p.m.

President Donald Trump is directing the FBI to launch a supplemental investigation into his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump says in a statement that the updated investigation, which comes in response to sexual misconduct allegations, "must be limited in scope" and "completed in less than one week."

The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had already been vetted.

Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations.

Senate Republican leaders agreed Friday to delay a final vote on Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation by the FBI at the request of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

Kavanaugh says he's done "everything" the Senate has asked of him and "will continue to cooperate."

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4:48 p.m.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh says in a statement released by the White House that he "will continue to cooperate" after senators asked President Donald Trump to open a supplemental background investigation of the embattled Supreme Court nominee.

Kavanaugh says he's been interviewed by the FBI during his confirmation process and conducted "background" calls with the Senate. He says he answered questions under oath Thursday "about every topic the Senators and their counsel asked me."

Kavanaugh says, "I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate."

Trump is ordering the new FBI probe of Kavanaugh, saying it must be "limited in scope" and last no longer than a week.

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4:40 p.m.

Two Republican senators who could be the deciding votes on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are endorsing a FBI background investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations against him.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told reporters they support a deal reached among senators to delay a vote on Kavanaugh.

Collins says the deal "is an important development and I believe it will let us go forward."

Murkowski says she wants to make sure senators "do our due diligence."

President Donald Trump will have to ask the FBI for the investigation into Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee said the probe should be limited to "current credible allegations against the nominee" and be finished by Oct. 5.

Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Both Collins and Murkowski are undecided on whether to vote for Kavanaugh.

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4 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee says it will ask President Donald Trump to open a supplemental background investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In a statement, the committee says it will ask that the FBI's probe be limited to "current credible allegations against the nominee." It also says that investigation should be completed no later than Oct. 5.

Democrats for days have been demanding an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, but Republicans had refused to seek one. That changed Friday when Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said a background investigation should be conducted before a final Senate vote on the nominee.

Only Trump can order the FBI to reopen the investigation.

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3:11 p.m.

A high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he will cooperate with any law enforcement agency that will "confidentially investigate" sexual misconduct allegations against him and Kavanaugh.

Mark Judge sent a signed letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, saying he "categorically" denies sexual misconduct allegations made by Julie Swetnick.

In a sworn statement released Wednesday, Swetnick accused Kavanaugh and Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations.

Judge says in his letter that he doesn't know Swetnick and does not recall any parties in the early 1980s where he "fondled or grabbed women in an aggressive or unwanted manner."

He says Swetnick's allegations are "so bizarre" and he "would remember actions so outlandish."

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3:10 p.m.

One of the few Senate Democrats who remains undecided on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court is backing calls for an FBI investigation of sexual misconduct claims against the nominee.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said senators need to slow down on confirming Kavanaugh so the investigation can be conducted. The probe should happen, in his words, "so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote."

He applauded the "courage" of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who on Friday urged a delay of up to one week on Kavanaugh's nomination to allow time for the FBI investigation.

Manchin is facing a tough re-election race this year in West Virginia, a state President Donald Trump won handily in the 2016 election.

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2:50 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is meeting with Republicans senators in his office to discuss the next steps on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate Friday afternoon. GOP senators from the panel dashed to McConnell's office immediately after the vote.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the committee, has called for the FBI to investigate the sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh. Asked what he hoped to accomplish, Flake replied: "A better process."

Flake wants a delay of up to a week. The decision rests with Republican leaders.

Entering McConnell's office, Sen. John Kennedy called the developments a "grotesque carnival."

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2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he found Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, "a very credible witness."

Trump told reporters Friday at the White House that he thought Ford's testimony Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee "was very compelling" and that "she looks like a very fine woman, very fine woman."

But Trump also says he though Kavanaugh's adamant denial "really something that I hadn't seen before. It was incredible."

Trump called it "an incredible moment I think in the history of our country."

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor — but Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said the full Senate vote should be delayed for a week.

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2:25 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says it's going to fall to him to lay out to President Donald Trump why Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation vote has been delayed.

He spoke after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate only if the final confirmation vote is delayed for an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh attacked her in a locked room at a high school house party. Kavanaugh denies that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance the nomination to the full Senate, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley noted the timing on Senate vote was up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Graham, of South Carolina, is a Trump ally who is on the panel. Graham told reporters after the committee vote that somebody is going to have to explain the delay to Trump. Graham added: "I guess that'll be my job."

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2:11 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he'll leave it to the Senate to determine when it will vote on his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Trump is expressing optimism, saying: "I'm sure it will all be very good."

Trump told reporters Friday during a meeting with the President of Chile that undecided Republican senators "have to do what they think is right" and "be comfortable with themselves" on the Kavanaugh vote.

But he said he hadn't thought at all about a replacement, "Not even a little bit."

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday along party lines to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor.

But Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said at the last minute that he could not promise to vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor and called for a delay of up to a week for a further investigation of sexual assault accusations.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After a flurry of last-minute negotiations, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Brett Kavanaugh's nomination for the Supreme Court after agreeing to a late call from Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona for a one week investigation into sexual assault allegations against the high court nominee.

However, it's unclear if Republican leaders — or President Donald Trump — will support Flake's call for the investigation or might instead press forward with a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

The dramatic scene unfolded a day after Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified in an emotional, hours-long hearing. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations that he assaulted Ford while they were both in high school, while she said she was "100 percent" certain he was her attacker.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of the drama and uncertainty. On Friday morning, he announced that he would support Kavanaugh's nomination. Shortly after, he was confronted in an elevator by two women who, through tears, implored him to change his mind.

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the judge. Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it's unnecessary.

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