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McConnell sets key vote on Kavanaugh nomination for Friday

Posted at 8:20 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 00:26:43-04

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion for a cloture vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh, setting in place the first vote for sometime Friday and the vote on the full Senate floor on Saturday.

Senators will receive the FBI report on Kavanaugh on Wednesday, McConnell said.

Wednesday afternoon, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said there was “some indication” during a meeting with Republicans that the report would be available Wednesday afternoon. Grassley’s committee has been leading Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, and — at the request of Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona — asked the White House to have the FBI conduct the supplemental background probe.

“All I can tell you is I have not talked to the FBI, I have not talked to the White House,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “We had some indication at the Republican meeting that it’d be sometime this afternoon. That’s all I know.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, also said he hears the report will come Wednesday.

“I heard it’ll be today, I just don’t know when,” Cornyn told reporters.

“And I hope some conclusion or some summary will be made public because I hate to see Judge Kavanaugh be subjected to these allegations in public, which have to be embarrassing and destructive and not see the vindication if in fact that’s what we see made public,” Cornyn added.

Whether that report will make its way into the public’s hands is unclear.

The White House, which has expanded the initial scope of the background probe, has insisted the review must take less than one week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will take up a vote on Kavanaugh this week.

A handful of Republican senators — including the staunchest defenders of Mr. Trump and Kavanaugh — criticized the president for appearing to mock the testimony of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a rally in Mississippi Tuesday night.

“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember,'” Mr. Trump said at the rally in Southaven, appearing to alternate between acting as a questioner and giving an impression of Ford. “How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know.'”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he’d tell the president to “knock it off.” 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a key swing vote, called the president’s remarks “wholly inappropriate.”

Related: Kavanaugh’s answers in question as confirmation vote looms