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Key swing vote Collins says she’ll reveal her final decision on Kavanaugh on Friday

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a key swing vote in determining the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said she will announce later Friday how she plans to vote on the controversial nomination.

Collins, from Maine, said she will reveal how she will vote on Saturday during a 3 p.m. speech in the Senate on Friday, according to CNN reporters. She is viewed as a crucial vote along with Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Lisa Murkowski, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

Murkowski was the only one of the four to vote against Kavanaugh on the procedural vote Friday. It passed 51-49, likely setting up a final vote on Saturday.

As reported by CNN’s Manu Raju, Collins said the FBI investigation “appears to be a very thorough investigation” while Flake said that “we’ve seen no additional corroborating information” about the alleged assaults.

With a 51-49 Republican majority in the Senate, all it would take to sink Kavanaugh’s nomination is two members of the majority party voting against him — assuming that all Democrats vote against the judge as well.

Vox had earlier listed Collins, Flake and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin as the three senators most likely to decide the fate of Kavanaugh and whether he will serve on the highest court of the land.

Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump on July 9 after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh is expected to push the high court further to the right with his lifetime appointment.

In September, Christine Blasey Ford came forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, according to The Washington Post. She says that while they were both in high school in 1982, Kavanaugh groped her and tried to rip off her clothes as he pinned her down on a bed.

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