Kavanaugh Advances as Flake Demands FBI Investigation and Delay on Final Vote

Sen. Jeff Flake was confronted by abuse victims in viral video Friday

Last Updated: September 28, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to recommend Brett Kavanaugh for confirmation to the Supreme Court, clearing the way for the final consideration of his nomination by the full Senate next week.

As expected, the committee’s 10 Democrats all voted against allowing Kavanaugh’s nomination to proceed to a floor vote, while the 11 Republicans voted in favor.

There had been tension earlier Friday morning over whether Sen. Jeff Flake would defect and join the Democrats, but that was put to rest by announcing before the vote that he would stick with his party.

In a twist, Flake said in a statement to the committee that he wanted a one-week delay in the final floor vote on Kavanaugh so that an FBI investigation of “limited scope” could be conducted into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusations, which precipitated a last-minute flurry of partisan bickering from senators on the committee. Flake had been confronted by two sexual abuse victims in a Senate office building elevator hours before the vote, which was captured in a video that went viral.

Before the vote, Democratic senators did their best to make a few more points, including a last-minute Hail Mary by Sen. Richard Blumenthal to subpoena Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge to testify. The motion was defeated 11-10 on a party-line vote.

On Thursday, Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford each testified before the Judiciary Committee and offered starkly dueling narratives. Ford said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while drunk at a party during the early 1980s. Kavanaugh said that he did no such thing and wasn’t at the event that Ford described.

Over nine hours, both offered passionate, raw and emotional testimony from their respective positions. Many senators were visibly torn by the spectacle and a general bipartisan consensus on cable news noted that it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the absolute truth based on the testimony alone of either witness.