Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tom Williams, POOL

Update: Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to go to full Senate

Judiciary Committee votes to send Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to full Senate.

After a flurry of last-minute negotiations, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court Friday after agreeing to a late call from Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona for a one week investigation into sexual assault allegations against the high court nominee.

However, it was unclear whether Republican leaders, who have pushed for fast confirmation of Kavanaugh, would back Flake’s call for an investigation or instead would press forward with a full Senate vote on the nomination. President Donald Trump, who has accused the Democrats of obstruction and delay and has opposed the FBI probing the allegations against his nominee, said merely that he would “let the Senate handle that.”

The dramatic scene unfolded a day after Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified in an emotional, hours-long hearing. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations that he assaulted Ford while they were both in high school, while she said she was “100 per cent” certain he was her attacker.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the centre of the drama and uncertainty. On Friday morning, he announced that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. Shortly after, he was confronted in an elevator by two women who, through tears, implored him to change his mind.

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the judge. Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it’s unnecessary.

Flake said that after discussing the matter with fellow senators, he felt it “would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week.”

That increases the pressure on a handful of colleagues who haven’t yet said whether they back Kavanaugh: Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

With a 51-49 majority, Senate Republicans have little margin for error, especially given the fact that several Democrats facing tough re-election prospects this fall announced their opposition to Kavanaugh on Friday. Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana all said they would vote no.

Related: Trump urges Senate to vote after Kavanaugh’s fierce defence

Related: Christine Blasey Ford steps into spotlight; defiant Kavanaugh fights back

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Kelowna company wins contract for LNG Canada project in Kitimat

SK Form & Finish will work with equivalent of 4,000 fully loaded concrete trucks

U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminium scrapped

Joint effort by industry, government and unions secures deal

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read