Senate Republicans agreed on Sept. 28 to delay the vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh for one week pending an FBI investigation into allegations brought forth by a female accuser.
The Senate Judiciary Committee called on the White House to order the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background investigation.
“The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today,” the committee said in a statement.
President Donald Trump deferred the investigation decision to the committee earlier in the day.
“I will be totally reliant on what Senator [Chuck] Grassley and the group decides to do,” Trump said. “And that’ll be a decision that they’re going to make. And I suspect they’ll be making some decision soon, whether to take a vote or to do whatever else they want to do.”
The call for an FBI probe came on the heels of a demand by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that an FBI investigation be conducted as a condition for his vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor.
Flake stated his intention shortly before voting to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination from the committee to the Senate floor. Two other swing-vote senators–Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)–later seconded Flake’s request.
“The American people have been pulled apart by this entire spectacle and we need to take time to address these claims independently, so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote,” Manchin said in a statement. “It is what is right and fair for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people.”
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have demanded for days that the FBI investigate the allegation against Kavanaugh. Grassley, the committee chair, dismissed the requests, saying that the Bureau considered the matter closed and that the committee received sworn statements from witnesses denying the allegation.
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.