Panel Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said it received the report overnight and Republicans and Democrats will get equal time to review it. The report details the bureau’s investigation into accusations against Kavanaugh brought by multiple accusers.
Supplemental FBI background file for Judge Kavanaugh has been received by @senjudiciary Ranking Member Feinstein & I have agreed to alternating EQUAL access for senators to study content from additional background info gathered by non-partisan FBI agents 1/3
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on Kavanaugh’s nomination as senators prepared to view the results of the FBI’s supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh Thursday morning.
The Kentucky Republican announced the filing on Wednesday night and set a procedural vote Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s confirmation. A full Senate vote could follow.
McConnell added there will be “plenty of time” before the vote for members of the judiciary committee to be briefed on the report, which was ordered in response to sex assault accusations brought by former Kavanaugh high school classmate Christine Blasey Ford. Last week, Ford testified before the committee and detailed the accusations she said occurred at a party in 1982.
Early Thursday, the White House acknowledged the receipt of the FBI report.
“With Leader McConnell’s cloture filing, Senators have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah tweeted. “This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half-million pages of documents. With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will cote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”
All 100 Senators will have access to the “302” forms of the FBI interviews, beginning with Grassley at 8:00 a.m., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s ranking Democrat, at 9:00 a.m., NBC News reported.
Republican members of the Judiciary Committee will be permitted to view the file at 10:00 a.m. and Democrats at 11:00 a.m., with all other senators receiving an opportunity afterward. It’s unlikely the report will be released to the public.
Only one copy of the file will be provided for the senators to share among themselves, and if all 100 senators choose to review it for 30 minutes each, it could take at least 50 hours to complete the examination — meaning a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination could be days away.
“Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. “That’s what we were told. And we were also that we would be given one hour for the Dems, one hour for the Republicans. Alternating.”
“Do the math,” Durbin added. “That’s a lot of time.”
Republican aides said the process of alternating a single copy among Republicans and Democrats is standard practice for judicial nominees, and a 2009 memorandum of understanding bars copying FBI background reports.
A Gallup poll Wednesday showed Americans remain closely divided on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — 46 percent in favor, 45 percent opposed and 9 percent having no opinion.
The poll also showed the largest gap in approval for a Supreme Court nominee Gallup has measured to date — 84 percent of Republicans and just 13 percent of Democrats in favor.
Independents were closely split with 46 percent opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation and 43 percent approving.
Gallup interviewed nearly 1,500 people for the survey, which has a margin of error of 3 points.
Trump touted the poll results on Twitter late Wednesday.
“Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and a great intellect. The country is with him all the way,” Trump said.
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court
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