Senate Republicans have agreed to delay the final floor vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in order to allow for an FBI investigation next week into the several allegations of sexual assault that hone been made against him.
Although Kavanaugh was approved for the position on Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee in an 11-10 party-line vote, the nomination still needs to be voted on by the full Senate.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted in favor of Kavanaugh during the Judiciary Committee poll, but indicated that he may not vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor if the FBI investigation does not take place. He called for the full Senate vote to be delayed for one week in order to give the FBI some time to reopen its background investigation into Kavanaugh.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) supported Flake’s suggestion of an one-week delay: “I think it’s important that we do our due diligence and this is yet another step in that due diligence,” she said.
The Senate will still have their procedural vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday, but the final floor vote will not take place until the FBI finishes its review.
To aid in the investigation, Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge has expressed his willingness to cooperate with the FBI probe into the allegations.
A lawyer for Judge explained that his client “will answer any and all questions posed to him” by the FBI about serious sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
“If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr. Judge’s cooperation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him,” Judge’s lawyer Barbara Van Gelder told CNBC.
The offer to cooperate came after several senators asked for the confirmation vote to be delayed, but before the final decision to wait until after the FBI completes its investigation had been made.