Manchin applauds Republican senator's call for Kavanaugh FBI investigation

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks during the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, has maintained that his client is telling the truth as the FBI has reportedly been told by the White House to exclude her from its investigation.

Trump bowed to pressure from moderate Senate Republicans and ordered an FBI investigation after Christine Blasey Ford, a California university professor, detailed her claims at a Senate hearing on Thursday that Kavanaugh tried to rape her in 1982 when the two were still high school teenagers.

As with the at least four other accusations of sexual misconduct for which the Judiciary Committee has investigated Kavanaugh, the judge flatly denied it occurred.

On Friday, Republicans on the committee voted to proceed to a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, but a series of back-room negotiations led to a surprise twist in what has already been a wrenching confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee, among the most polarizing in recent memory.

McConnell urged Trump to support Kavanaugh but to avoid attacking his accusers, warning that he was in charge of counting votes and those kinds of disparaging remarks could cause him to lose Republican senators whose votes could be key to confirming Kavanaugh, including Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, they said.

Without their votes to confirm the judge, Trump and Republican leaders in the Senate had no choice but to request an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry - a move Democrats had demanded for days. "They don't care who they hurt, who they have to run over to get power", he said. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, that could increase the number of women and liberals who turn out to vote.

Kavanaugh wouldn't answer directly when he was asked Thursday if he would agree to an FBI investigation, but said he would do whatever the Judiciary Committee wanted. "I don't know what they're referring to", he told committee investigators.

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway delivered a similar message Sunday, repeating that the investigation will be "limited in scope" and "will not be a fishing expedition".




The Senate is set to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination after the FBI investigation concludes sometime this week.

Speaking to reporters at the White House after the committee vote, Trump continued to stand by Kavanaugh, saying he had not thought "even a little bit" about a replacement but also said he found Ford a "credible witness".

The source reiterated that the agents would make no conclusion about what witnesses tell them and would hand their results over to the White House, which is standard protocol in similar background investigations.

Comey wrote that he is confident in the FBI agents' ability to sufficiently conduct an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct made against Kavanaugh by several women.

Kavanaugh denies both Ford's and Ramirez's allegations.

"I don't think there's ever been any person who's been under scrutiny like he has". Jeff Flake of Arizona, threw a wrench in the works. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favour of Kavanaugh along party lines on Friday.

There has been a pattern of leaks, Cassidy said, to assassinate Kavanaugh's character. The committee has said the probe should be limited to "current credible allegations" against Kavanaugh and be finished by Friday. "And I think it's a very, very risky place and a very unsafe road for America to go down, to simply take an accusation and make it fact". They have deliberately and consciously turned the confirmation process into a witch hunt, knowing that any allegation - no matter how freakish or unlikely - would be lovingly reported by their allies in the media.

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