Sen. Jeff Flake calls for a delay of full Senate vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh
The FBI’s report on its investigation into allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is complete, and Senators will begin reviewing the documents Thursday morning. So what comes next?
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah tweeted shortly after 2 a.m. that the White House had received the report and was transferring it to the Senate.
“This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents. With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Shah wrote.
What is in the report?
The report comes after Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, demanded a limited investigation before a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
FBI agents interviewed witnesses, including Mike Judge, who Ford said was in the room during the alleged assault. The report includes more than 300 interview summaries, according to the New York Times. The bureau contacted 10 people for the investigation and interviewed nine of them, according to the paper.
Some have criticized the investigation for its limited scope, including Ford’s lawyers, who said they were “profoundly disappointed” the investigation “did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony,” according to The Hill.
How will Senators review it?
The report will be viewable to senators in a secured room at the Capitol, the New York Times reported. Starting Thursday morning, the senators or a few select staff will be able to review the materials. There will be only one copy for Senators to review, and they will be able to see it only in one-hour increments, CBS News reported.
Will the report become public?
As of now, the report is not scheduled to become public. It is held in a secure room to prevent leaks. But some senators have expressed an openness to releasing the report in some form.
“I know yesterday [McConnell] said that was not going to be the case, but I have a feeling they’re probably trying to figure out some way of disseminating this,” said Republican Senator Bob Corker, according to ABC News.
“I do think, in the interest of transparency, it would be appropriate for the FBI or the Senate to release that,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, the network reported.
“I want you to know what the FBI found and let the facts speak for themselves, and I am ready to vote,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, according to CNN.
What comes next?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted Wednesday night that he had filed for cloture on the nomination, which would end any further debate on the matter.
“There will be plenty of time for Members to review and be briefed on this supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote,” he wrote.
A final vote could come as early as Saturday, the New York Times reported.