Nominee's attack on Democrats poses risk to Supreme Court

MICHAEL REYNOLDS via Getty Images

MICHAEL REYNOLDS via Getty Images

"I can not tell you how grateful I am", Coons said of his Republican colleague's actions afterwards, calling Flake a "hero".

Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who has alleged she had a sexual encounter with Donald Trump back in 2006. Mr Kavanaugh denies both Dr Ford's and Ms Ramirez's allegations.

The FBI has begun investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by an intoxicated Kavanaugh in high school and college, allegations the appeals court judge flatly denies. That investigation is supposed to be completed by Friday.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018.

Trump ordered the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation, delaying a final vote on the nomination.

"I want the FBI - this is now their seventh investigation - I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation", Trump said in the Rose Garden.

But the parameters of the new and limited Federal Bureau of Investigation probe don't include interviewing Julie Swetnick, a third accuser who alleged this week that he was at a party decades ago where she was gang-raped, according to a report on Saturday in the Wall Street Journal.

As the fresh review unfolded, the prosecutor who was brought in by Republicans to handle questioning at last week's hearing outlined in a new memo why she did not believe criminal charges would be brought against Kavanaugh if it were a criminal case rather than a Supreme Court confirmation process.

He says Smyth does not have "any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh". He says, "The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close".

Trump agreed to an investigation after he had vigorously resisted asking the FBI - an agency he has repeatedly criticized - to look into the sexual assault and misconduct allegations.

"It's not fair. I think it's fair to do it to me ..." However the FBI is carrying out an investigation into Ford's allegations, as well as allegations made by a second woman, Deborah Ramirez.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the White House had defined the parameters of the probe for the FBI and that the investigation would start with interviews with only four people.

Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations, but the Senate directed the FBI to investigate them for up to a week.

When the justices have said or done something seen as political, the reaction is often swift.

Republicans later called the White House to discuss the scope of the probe, the person said.

Additionally, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's yesterday released a statement saying he was "deeply troubled" by the nominee's efforts to downplay his drinking in his youth. The announcement added drama and suspense to Friday's vote, and upended the GOP's plans to move quickly to confirm Kavanaugh.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said it would not be unlawful for the White House to restrict the investigation's scope because the FBI is under the executive branch. Mr Judge has also denied Ms Ford's allegations.

Sanders spoke on "Fox News Sunday", Conway appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and Graham and Hirono were interviewed on ABC's "This Week".

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