Key GOP Senator’s demand reopens FBI investigation into Kavanaugh
By: Mac Williams
On Sept. 28 Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) halted the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court when he and fellow Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) agreed to a compromise.
According to Eli Rosenberg of the Washington Post, during the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Sept. 28, Flake was spotted leaving the room as he and Coons met privately behind closed doors. A few minutes later both Flake and Coons returned to the chamber with Flake appearing visibly torn about what had just transpired.
According to Eliza Collins and Richard Wolf of the USA Today, when Flake returned to the chamber he announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to allow the full senate to vote on the nomination, but with a condition. The FBI must be allowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, but lasting no longer than one week.
“The country’s being ripped apart here,” said Flake. “We can have a short pause and make sure that the FBI can investigate.”
Flake holds considerable leverage with respect to this particular nomination because he is one of only three GOP senators who still have yet to announce whether they will vote yes to confirm Kavanaugh in a full senate vote.
It is worth remembering that republicans have a 51-49 majority in the senate and can confirm Kavanaugh along a partisan vote. Without the vote of Flake and GOP senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), who are also undecided, the nomination of Kavanaugh would fail.
According to Peter Baker and Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, the White House authorized the FBI to carry out an investigation into the allegations levied against Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and others.
The inquiry is scheduled to wrap up by Friday, Oct. 5 and findings are expected to be presented to the senate at that time. A vote to confirm Kavanaugh is expected to be held either on Oct. 5 or early the following week.