As vote looms, Kavanaugh makes final argument

As vote looms, Kavanaugh makes final argument

Interested senators were briefed by those staffers Thursday morning, with one hour dedicated to Democrats and the next to Republicans.

Kavanaugh has not yet locked up the votes needed.

Collins said Thursday that the FBI appears to have conducted a "very thorough investigation" of the sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh.

Tensions have been high at the Capitol with opponents of Kavanaugh, including survivors of sexual assault, confronting senators in the halls and holding vigil across the street at the Supreme Court.

Given that Republicans have a razor-thin 51-49 margin of control in the Senate, the party can potentially only afford one defection if it wants the confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Special inquiries are different from FBI criminal investigations, so the White House counsel set the parameters of what FBI agents examined.

The FBI is expected to give the Senate a supplemental background report on Kavanaugh later Wednesday.

Republicans defended him. "This investigation found no hint of misconduct", Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said.

Kavanaugh's nomination by US President Donald Trump to the lifetime role on the highest court in the US has unleashed a confrontational and fiery debate on his qualifications and character after university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both in high school in the early 1980s.

Murkowski said she was "still reviewing" her decision.

Ind vs WI: Virat Kohli hits 24th Test ton
Pujara too looked at ease at the other end until he was caught behind off debutant Sherman Lewis, missing out on a 16th Test ton. He was out trying to drive legspinner Devendra Bishoo but only chipping straight back to the bowler.

The FBI was given a week to look into Dr Ford's allegation that Mr Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were teenagers decades ago.

While some Republicans and Trump have called the allegations by Ford and the two other women part of a smear campaign, Ford told the committee she had no political motivation, adding, "I am an independent person and I am no pawn".

Comedian Amy Schumer waits to be led away after she was arrested during a protest against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

It is the first time the paper has opposed a Supreme Court nominee since 1987.

However, Flake and Collins have sent positive signals for Kavanaugh's confirmation earlier on Thursday, hours after the FBI submitted a report to the Capitol on its investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations.

Emboldened, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Thursday a procedural vote on Kavanaugh will be held on Friday with a final vote as soon as Saturday. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me. Two GOP votes against Kavanaugh's confirmation sink it if every Democrat votes no. Dick Durbin noted that, because the background checks are confidential, the Democrats are limited in what they can say publicly about them.

Trump claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigation report exonerated Kavanaugh and expressed optimism about Republican chances in the November midterm elections, where control of the House of Representatives and Senate could be at stake.

Ford, who testified last week at a dramatic Judiciary Committee hearing, accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down, trying to remove his clothing and covering her mouth when she screamed.

Almost 8 in 10 Republicans said they approve of how Trump has handled the allegations in the new poll, which was conducted before Trump mocked Ford at Tuesday night's rally.

Prof Ford's lawyer said eight people were not interviewed who could corroborate her claims, while Ms Ramirez's lawyer said more than 20 witnesses were not contacted.

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