The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Kavanaugh—here’s what happens next
Yesterday, September 27th, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist and professor of psychology who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school. Today, September 28th, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, deciding 11-10 in favor of advancing him to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, with all Republicans voting yes.
There’s one (sort of) caveat, though: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), who represented the only swing vote on the committee, said on Friday that he would vote to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate but requested a one-week delay on the full Senate vote for an FBI investigation into Dr. Blasey’s accusations against Kavanaugh. This meant that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must agree to the one-week delay, and President Trump must instruct the FBI to undertake the investigation.
"I'm simply stating the discussion that we had between us all is that I would hope and I think we had some agreement before that the Democrats who have been—I think—justifiably uncomfortable moving ahead, could publicly, in an effort to bring this country together, say that we would feel better," Flake said, according to CNN. "I'm not expecting them to vote yes...but not to complain that an FBI investigation has not occurred. This is what I'm trying to do. This country is being ripped apart here. We've got to make sure that we do due diligence."
Sen. Flake said he may ultimately vote “no” on Kavanaugh’s nomination if the FBI investigation does not occur.
There are currently six senators who have not stated publicly how they’ll vote on Kavanaugh when his nomination reaches the full Senate: Republicans Flake, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; and Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced they will move forward with the investigation as long as it ends by next Friday, October 5th.
"The Senate Judiciary Committee will request that the administration instruct the FBI to conduct a supplemental FBI background investigation with respect to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court," a statement from the committee read, according to CNN. "The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today."
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, a New York Times reporter, tweeted that Ford’s legal team reached out to the FBI about the investigation. But as of Sunday, September 30th, they had yet to hear back.
And, as Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer wrote in The New Yorker, “several people who hope to contribute information about him to the F.B.I. said that they were unable to make contact with agents.”
We’ll keep you updated with the latest.