Senate paves way for Kavanaugh confirmation

Democratic senator suggests FBI uncovered evidence Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath as final vote looms

"Because they couldn't fill the seats up", Grassley said in that follow-up interview, suggesting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has had to practically beg several Republicans to sit on the contentious panel.

Republicans now hold a narrow majority and the final vote is likely to be close. Flake did not address Murkowski's unexpected break, which she claims she decided only as she walked to the Senate chamber for the vote.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona also said on MSNBC on Friday he would vote yes on Kavanaugh's final confirmation barring no late breaking developments.

The likelihood of Judge Kavanaugh winning a full Senate vote on Saturday appeared to increase after two Republicans whose backing will be essential gave a positive account of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry. With Indiana's Joe Donnelly and North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp having announced that they are definite "no" votes, Manchin remains the sole Democrat who might help to save Kavanaugh's nomination.

The other senators who have been closely watched since it was not known how they would vote - Republican Sen. Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed to the Supreme Court past year after the Senate changed its rules so that a nominee could be confirmed to the high court with a simple majority.

FILE - In this September 27, 2018 file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

On Thursday night, Kavanaugh said in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal that he might have been "too emotional" in the hearing, insisting he is "an independent, impartial judge".

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice raised her hand when President Obama's former communications director asked which Dem would be willing to challenge Sen.

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Kavanaugh denied the allegations, but two more women came with different sexual assault allegations against him.

They converged on Capitol Hill and held a rally outside the Supreme Court, chanting: "Kavanaugh has got to go!" "I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time", the senator said.

Republican Senator Susan Collins, a potential key swing vote, said before the procedural vote that she would announce her final decision on Kavanaugh confirmation on Friday afternoon.

The senate is expected to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday around 9pm United Kingdom time.

As Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim explained, Murkowski's vote likely signals a "no" vote on the final Kavanaugh nomination vote as well.

Following Friday's vote, Mr Trump tweeted that he was "very proud".

The Senate vote was 51-49 to move forward to the final confirmation vote.

But she added that people must listen to the survivors of sexual assault, noting that she doesn't necessarily think Ford's allegations are false.

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