Behind Kavanaugh probe, an emotional elevator pitch to a skeptical senator

Sen. Jeff Flake R-AZ speaks with Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA Chairman during the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting

President Donald Trump has ordered the FBI to reopen Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's background investigation after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Though Flake and the majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move Kavanaugh's nomination to a full Senate vote, he struck a deal with Democrats to delay the vote for a week while an FBI investigation goes ahead.

That vote was later delayed as Flake and Senator Christopher Coons, a Democrat, worked on a deal to allow one week for the FBI to investigate the claims against Kavanaugh, which he has vehemently denied.

Two institutions, really. One, the Supreme Court is the lone institution where most Americans still have some faith. But Democrats said there had to be an Federal Bureau of Investigation background check into the claims against Kavanaugh before a final confirmation vote.

Asked on Friday whether he had considered looking for a new Supreme Court candidate, Trump told reporters: "Not even a little bit".

JEFF FLAKE: It has been remarkable over the past week the number of people who saw Dr. Ford, particularly yesterday, and were emboldened to come out and to say what had happened to them.

Swetnik said in a sworn statement this week that she knew Kavanaugh in high school and was raped by such a group at a party where Kavanaugh and Judge were present. It will allow the FBI to investigate allegations of sexual assault leveled against Kavanaugh by several women.

Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said an FBI investigation "has to be more than a sham, and a charade".

Investigators compile information about a nominee's past and provide findings to the agency that requested the background check; in this case, it's the White House.

But by pausing for one week to allow for the probe, which lawmakers said would be "limited in scope", Republicans are still likely - perhaps more likely, if the FBI investigation fails to produce smoking gun evidence of the claims against Kavanaugh - to have enough votes to confirm him.

Speaking to supporters at a rally Saturday night in Wheeling, West Virginia, Trump accused Democrats of using "ruthless and outrageous tactics" against Kavanaugh and urged voters to support Republicans in November's midterm elections.

His fear is that these witnesses or people advising them will delay, stretching out when the Senate may get to a final vote in this highly charged confirmation process.

Kavanaugh and Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, testified publicly before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday. In the morning, he announced he would support Kavanaugh's nomination.

Flake's proposal was endorsed by GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, a strong Kavanaugh backer who said, "What Jeff is saying makes sense to me". "But we live in a country where you are presumed innocent, and you have to corroborate accusations of felonies, and there's no corroboration here".

A lawyer for Leland Ingham Keyser, a friend of Christine Blasey Ford, said she will "cooperate fully" with an FBI investigation, according to CNN. He also said that a moment when he was confronted by women who said they had been sexually assaulted "certainly struck a chord".

The sex-crime prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was hired by the Republican senators to question Ford and Kavanaugh, spoke at a meeting after the September 27 hearing.

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