White House not 'micromanaging' Kavanaugh probe

Capitol braces for a battle

Protesters opposed to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court rally outside the court Friday

"President Trump's decision to order a one-week investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, comes in a time of nearly indescribable pain and anger, lies and attacks", Comey explained.

During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on allegations of sexual assault leveled by accuser Christine Blasey Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivered an emotional denial and a stunning rebuke of the confirmation process, at times breaking down in tears.

Senate leaders agreed to delay a final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to allow for a one-week FBI investigation. Independents were in between, with slightly more believing Ford (33%) than Kavanaugh (32%) and higher percentages not sure about either.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said oversight of the investigation belonged to the Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee asked the White House to ask the FBI to conduct the supplemental investigation, which will be "limited to current credible allegations" and must be done by October 5.

Typically, background investigations do not go back decades, but that's what is needed in Kavanaugh's case because the allegations are about incidents said to have happened during his teenage years.

Ms Ramirez alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s.

Before the supplemental FBI investigation was ordered by the President on Friday afternoon, Sen.

Trump himself tweeted late Saturday that he wanted the Federal Bureau of Investigation "to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion". "And we're out of the way and letting them do exactly that". In her gripping testimony, Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge's laughter during the incident has stuck with her almost four decades later.

Supporters for Kavanaugh and Ford fill rows in hearing room
She spoke about the alleged incident in New Yorker magazine and has said she is willing to co-operate with any investigation. Kavanaugh has strongly denied her claims as well as allegations by two other accusers. "I never committed sexual assault".


Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski says the issue goes beyond whether Kavanaugh should be on the court.

The White House can order investigators to pursue other lines of inquiry and interviews if their interviews with people on the current list of witnesses lead them in that direction, and that may have been what Trump's tweet was referring to. "You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter, that you're going to let people who do these things into power".

Trump says in a statement that the updated investigation, which comes in response to sexual misconduct allegations, "must be limited in scope" and "completed in less than one week". Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said it was his understanding there would be an FBI investigation of "the outstanding allegations, the three of them", but Republicans have not said whether that was their understanding as well.

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

Democrats have been particularly focused on getting more information from Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh who Ford said was also in the room during her alleged assault. Republicans say reopening the FBI investigation is unnecessary because committee members have had the opportunity to question both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements.

"To see his family behind him, as Chris said, it was anger, but if I were unjustly accused, that's how I would feel as well", Flake said in an interview airing Sunday evening. Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film actor who says she had a sexual affair with Trump, a claim the president denies.

"I would support the other person, and I think there's a lot of other people that would", she said.

Another wing of the party was just as convinced that Republicans would trigger Election Day doom should they fail to confirm Trump's Supreme Court pick.

"I have been unable to get all the information necessary regarding this nomination, despite my best efforts", said Donnelly in a written statement.

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