Key senators undecided as U.S. Senate poised to vote on Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

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

Despite his performance, Kavanaugh said he can be counted on to be impartial as a judge. Police arrested around 300 people at the protests, including actors Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, urged an end to what he called "partisan histrionics" and called for a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Mr Trump's fellow Republicans have gained confidence Mr Kavanaugh will win Senate confirmation.

But crucially, two key Republican senators who are yet to say how they will vote - Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME - made positive comments about the probe, which was taken by some to be a sign that they were leaning towards a "yes".

Schumer said he disagreed with Grassley's assessment that there is "no hint of misconduct" but declined to elaborate or take questions.

Earlier, Senator Jeff Flake, one of the publicly undecided Republicans, told reporters "we've seen no additional corroborating information" about the claims against the 53-year-old conservative jurist and said the investigation had been comprehensive.

The White House believes the FBI report addressed the Senate's questions about Kavanaugh, Shah told CNN, adding that the FBI reached out to 10 people in its investigation and "comprehensively interviewed" nine of them.

All eyes are on those key Republicans who could make or break the confirmation - Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Some Republicans had said portions of the report should be released, but Corker said Thursday he no longer thought it was worth making public.

Also interviewed was Tim Gaudette, who, according to Judge Kavanaugh's calendars, hosted a party in July 1982 that Democrats say could have been the get-together where the assault happened, and Chris Garrett, a Kavanaugh friend who Ms. Blasey Ford says is the person who introduced her to Judge Kavanaugh.

A senior Senate Republican aide said there was growing confidence that Republican Senators Susan Collins and Flake and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin - all swing votes - would support Kavanaugh.

In morning tweets, Trump decried what he said was "harsh and unfair treatment" of Kavanaugh, who has undergone previous FBI background checks for other federal jobs, and accused Democrats of obstructing the confirmation process.

Most Democrats opposed Mr Trump's nomination of Mr Kavanaugh from the outset. The price of locking in a conservative Supreme Court majority for decades may be loosing control of Congress this November.

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.

Ford said she was 100 percent certain that Kavanaugh attacked her during a gathering of high school students in early 1980s, and Kavanaugh said he was also 100 percent certain that he never attacked anyone, calling the allegations "a calculated and orchestrated political hit".

"At times, my testimony - both in my opening statement and in response to questions - reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of frightful conduct completely contrary to my record and character", the judge wrote.

"I know that my tone was sharp", he wrote, "and I said a few things I should not have said".

Kavanaugh called the judicial system the "crown jewel of our constitutional republic" and noted that the Supreme Court is "the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and for the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution".

Kavanaugh's demeanor and conduct during the hearing alarmed the law professors.

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