Ford's lawyers blast FBI's Kavanaugh probe as 'stain' on justice

A top Senate Republican said Thursday the confidential Federal Bureau of Investigation report on charges that Brett Kavanaugh sexually abused women three decades ago "found no hint of misconduct" by the Supreme Court nominee.

In a poll released Wednesday by NPR, Marist and PBS NewsHour, 47 percent of respondents said they had a negative view of Kavanaugh versus 36 percent who said they view the judge positively.Another 18 percent were unsure or had not heard of Kavanaugh.

But on Kavanaugh, it's possible a senator who votes yes on the first question could vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation. His appointment would tilt the court in favour of conservatives.

And Republican Sen. Dean Heller is struggling in his reelection bid but he was always seen as the most endangered GOP incumbent this cycle as he's the only Republican running in a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The law professors say in the letter that Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony regarding Ford's sexual assault allegation "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land".

Lawyers for two women making claims against Mr Kavanaugh - Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - also criticised the FBI's probe.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set a cloture vote on the nomination for Friday, which would allow for a confirmation vote on Saturday. He has described Ms Swetnick's allegation as a "joke". It is not meant to have the form of a conclusion or recommendation. That's created a backup of senators in a Capitol complex already tense over protests, beefed-up security and campaign-season politics.

The report is in paper format only and no copies will be made.

"It's time to vote", he said.

On Wednesday, at the Atlantic Festival, Graham was likewise snippy with the audience after they booed him for saying that Kavanaugh was treated "like crap" by Senate Democrats during Judiciary Committee hearings, telling the people in the crowd "oh boo yourself". "I had one beer - that's the only thing I remember", he stated inaccurately.

Democrats have raised concerns that the investigation has been too narrow in scope, and that key witnesses have been omitted.

Anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal that the report found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein believes the report is an "incomplete investigation".

The senator, an ardent Kavanaugh backer, was speaking to reporters at the Capitol on Thursday after the Senate was given the FBI's findings on sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. "It's kind of appalling", he added.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. But numerous Republicans emerged to tell reporters they saw nothing implicating Kavanaugh in sexual misconduct.

President Trump declared this week that he wanted the most "comprehensive" inquiry, although he favoured it being completed with no delays. So after months of Democratic voters reporting that they were far more excited to vote in November than their Republican counterparts, both sides now appear ginned up as Election Day comes into focus.

Three Republican senators - Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - are being closely watched, as they have not yet said how they will vote.

Still undecided on backing the conservative judge, Senator Collins denounced the president's comments ridiculing Ford as "just plain wrong".

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are also yet to declare their intentions. "With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court".

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen.

More than 1000 law professors have also signed a letter urging senators not to confirm Mr Kavanaugh. 'I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh'.

  • Rogelio Becker