Kavanaugh's confirmation looking likely after Federal Bureau of Investigation probe

Kavanaugh's confirmation looking likely after Federal Bureau of Investigation probe

Kavanaugh's confirmation looking likely after Federal Bureau of Investigation probe

Kavanaugh concluded that if he's confirmed by the Senate to the vacant seat on the bench, he "will keep an open mind in every case and always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law".

It is not a done deal, however.

Furore over Kavanaugh's nomination has overshadowed next month's midterm elections in which control of Congress by Trump's Republican Party could be at stake.

Under new rules approved previous year, 50 votes are needed for victory in Friday's procedural vote.

"After doing my due diligence and now that the record is apparently closed, I will vote against his confirmation", Senator Heidi Heitkamp said Thursday.

The vote is expected around 10:30 am (1430 GMT). A second, final vote would need to follow.

At senators behest, the FBI investigated and the agency's latest report Thursday did not corroborate "any of the sexual misconduct allegations against" Kavanaugh, said Majority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, according to the Associated Press.

US Capitol Police said 302 were arrested - among them said to be comedian Amy Schumer, a distant relative of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The announcement of the vote came after some Republican senators expressed dismay over Trump's mockery of two of the women who have come forward with claims against Kavanaugh.

But Democrats said the five-day inquiry was "incomplete" because it was limited by the White House.

He appeared to be trying to draw the sting from his explosive testimony last week in which he denied claims that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers in the 1980s. They include Mark Judge, Leland Keyser and Patrick Smyth, the people Ms. Blasey Ford has said she remembers at the party where she was assaulted.

More news: Kavanaugh's temperament, credibility emerge as flashpoints in Supreme Court fight

For his part, Kavanaugh testified he was "100 percent certain" none of the alleged incidents of sexual misconduct occurred.

Despite his performance, Kavanaugh said he can be counted on to be impartial as a judge. Kavanaugh had been criticized, including by legal experts, for his temperament during the hearing.

The Senate is heading toward a procedural vote Friday, and if Republicans prevail, Kavanaugh would be on track to a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court.

"At that time, I thought [Kavanaugh] had the qualifications for the Supreme Court should he be selected", Stevens said. "I've changed my views for reasons that have no relationship to his intellectual ability ..."

Some protesters, many dressed in black, crowded into the Hart Senate Office Building after rallying in front of the Supreme Court on a sunny, warm autumn day.

Capitol Police said the 300-odd detainees were processed on site and released after being charged with offenses such as obstructing a public space or unlawful demonstration.

"There's nothing in it that we didn't already know", Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Thursday as senators are viewing the report in private. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME or Jeff Flake of Arizona.

He said the investigation was thorough, and for the witnesses interviewed "it's a cross between an endoscopy and a colonoscopy".

Brett Kavanaugh will "potentially, hopefully" be on the Supreme Court in short order, President Donald Trump said Thursday night to a crowd chanting "Kav-a-naugh" in Rochester, Minn.

"We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the Federal Bureau of Investigation from getting all the facts", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday morning.

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