Senate gets FBI Kavanaugh report, with initial vote Friday

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President Donald Trump has defended his nominee and criticized the way the nomination has proceeded.

Three Republican senators key to Brett Kavanaugh's approval to the US Supreme Court blasted President Donald Trump Wednesday for mocking the woman accusing his nominee of sexual assault, as he played to a crowd of thousands at a political rally.

In a statement, lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford say the additional FBI background investigation didn't include interviewing Ford or the witnesses they say corroborate her testimony.

The lack of interviews raises "serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation and begs the question: what other restrictions has the White House placed on the FBI?" Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to conduct that supplemental probe before a full floor vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation. They described the president's remarks as "appalling", "inappropriate" and "just plain wrong". "And right now, that's sort of where our focus needs to be", said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who has traded barbs with Trump and will retire at year's end.

Shortly after Prof Ford's testimony to the Senate last week, Mr Trump said she was a "very fine woman". "That's the only thing I remember", Mr Trump mocked.

As Senate Republican leaders marched toward a final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, perhaps over the weekend, the three Republicans who could be key to whether Kavanaugh is confirmed - Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -criticized Trump for his remarks about Ford at a political rally in MS on Tuesday.

The letter will be available for more signatures through Thursday, when it will be presented to the Senate. Four of those interviewed attended a 1 July 1982 event which was listed on a calendar that Mr Kavanaugh has produced to show what he did at the time. 'I don't know. I don't know.

With the truncated Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, the obnoxious White House campaign against Ford and the arrogance of the Senate leadership, this nomination's troubles transcend Kavanaugh's unfit temperament and character. And Democrats argued that the investigation has been insufficient, lacking interviews with her, with Kavanaugh and others who Kavanaugh's accusers have said could have knowledge about the alleged incidents.

The judge has vehemently denied all allegations against him.

Besides Flake and Collins, Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have yet to declare their positions on Kavanaugh. 'Upstairs, downstairs, where was it?' I don't know.

Trump stirred the furious backlash when, at a MS election rally late Tuesday, he ridiculed Blasey Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982, when both attended elite private high schools in suburban Washington. She said a drunken Kavanaugh and a friend of his, Mark Judge, pushed her into a bedroom, that Kavanaugh pinned her down and muffled her cries as he tried to pull off her clothes. Grassley said he was reminded of the 1991 testimony of then-Judge Clarence Thomas, who told the committee that the hearing into sexual harassment allegations from Anita Hill amounted to a "high-tech lynching".

Almost half of Americans say they oppose Kavanaugh's nomination - 48 percent compared to 41 percent who support it. He added of Thomas, "He's been on the Supreme Court for 26 years, and I've never heard anybody raise any questions about his temperament, and it's seemed to me to be just as dogmatic and as explosive as what he said". An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll yesterday showed a rise in Republican enthusiasm for the midterm elections is outpacing that on the Democratic side. But I had one beer.

"The energy we saw around Kavanaugh last week was truly inspiring".