December 19, 2018
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Collins backs late push to have FBI investigate Kavanaugh sex abuse claims

Alex Brandon | AP
Alex Brandon | AP
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., right, leads Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, followed by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, through a crowd of reporters after a Republican lunch meeting, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 in Washington.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Friday afternoon she backs a late move to delay a full Senate vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh so the FBI can investigate sexual assault allegations against him.

In a tweet Friday afternoon, Collins endorsed a request by the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask the administration for the investigation.

“I support this sensible agreement,” Collins said.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, called for the FBI to investigate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, whom she alleges assaulted her when they were teenagers. He made his recommendation Friday to the Judiciary Committee, before its members advanced Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote.

Republican leaders in the Senate said on Friday afternoon that they would delay the proceedings, and the committee has also requested that President Donald Trump instruct the FBI to complete its investigation by no later than Friday, Oct. 5.

Flake’s recommendation came after he issued a Friday morning statement saying he’d vote to confirm the judge. Before that, he was among three Republican holdouts whose indecision threatened to block confirmation of Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

After recommending the delay, he was quickly joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has stood alongside Collins as the only Republican senator who hasn’t committed to voting for Kavanaugh. Flake was joined in the call for a delay by Murkowski; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia; and Collins.

Flake joined fellow Republicans in the party-line Judiciary Committee vote to advance the nomination to the floor on the heels of Thursday’s protracted hearing, nine hours of emotional and fiery testimonies from Kavanaugh and Ford.

Collins continues to hold steady in her refusal to disclose whether she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the country’s highest court and her office refused again on Friday to give any indication about her thinking.

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