Flake stokes presidential speculation as court debate rages

FBI To Investigate Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

United States President Donald Trump is not new to allegations of sexual misconduct and it looks like his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh isn't far behind.

Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, U.S. September 27, 2018.

Chuck Schumer, the senate Democrats' leader, accused Mr Kavanaugh of delivering a "partisan screed" during a judiciary committee hearing last week. The email says, "Judge Kavanaugh indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered". The agency has been interviewing witnesses.

Yet Kavanaugh claimed, under oath, that he first heard of Ramirez's allegations "in The New Yorker story".

President Trump has said he wants the FBI to conduct a "very comprehensive investigation" into sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court nominee - but not a "witch hunt".

"It's a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of", Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House.

If the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe doesn't find anything of note, essentially clearing Kavanaugh of suspicion, 60% of Americans say he should be confirmed.

Democrats, however, raised questions if Kavanaugh's temperment made him an appropriate nominee for the Supreme Court. "Or, that the FBI's investigation was not infinite or endless enough for their liking", McConnell said from the Senate floor. Last week, a triumvirate of Republican senators - Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - vowed to withhold support for the nominee unless the White House allowed a supplemental background check into claims of sexual assault against Kavanaugh from California university professor Christine Blasey Ford. "All three named eyewitnesses have submitted statements to the Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever", Mitchell reports.




The person familiar with Ramirez's questioning, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said she also provided investigators with the names of others who she said could corroborate her account. "We are not moving the goalposts back", Schumer said.

The Senate's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of NY, says Kavanaugh seems willing to mislead senators about matters big and small to ensure his confirmation. The votes from the three Republicans and those of red-state Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota will largely determine whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.

"Leakers will leak what they want us to see", he said.

Collins, who was riding with Murkowski on an underground Senate train, smiled and told her colleague, "Good answer".

The FBI investigation was launched at the urging of Republican Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Archila chastises Flake that his swing vote could place a man accused of assaulting a young woman as a similarly deciding vote on the highest court in the land, likely to rule on cases involving body autonomy and reproductive rights. "We simply can't", Mr Flake told an event in Washington hosted by The Atlantic magazine.

But the White House released statements from two other Yale classmates who said they never saw Kavanaugh black out or treat women with disrespect.

The president's fellow Republicans accuse Democrats of seeking to delay a vote until after the mid-term elections, in the hope they will win control of Congress and derail Judge Kavanaugh's appointment. It will be made available to each Senator.

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