Senate debates Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination

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"Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed on Saturday", Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she would oppose Kavanaugh.

In the hours before the vote, police arrested demonstrators who had broken through barriers around the Capitol and tried to climb the building's steps.

Kavanaugh repeatedly denied Ford's allegations and condemned Democrats for drilling down on his teenaged drinking and yearbook postings.

Bush called a number of senators in recent weeks, and had several conversations with Collins to reassure the key Republican vote about Kavanaugh's character and temperament, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN.

Other vulnerable Senate Democrats such as Sens.

Kavanaugh's opponents raised concerns that he'd push the court further right, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump.

Trump, talking with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro, said he hated watching the slew of sexual assault allegations grow against Kavanaugh and dubbed all the accusations "fabrications" with "not a bit of truth". "The tactics have energized our base", he said, adding: "I want to thank the mob, because they've done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base". Meanwhile a Senate debate ensues on the Senate floor.

Senate Republicans, except for Lisa Murkowski, have stood by him in a move that could resonate, particularly with women voters, in the November 6 elections to determine control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

All but one Republican lined up behind him, arguing that a truncated FBI investigation turned up no corroborating witnesses and that Kavanaugh had sterling credentials for the court.

Ramirez says in a statement released by her lawyers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to speak to witnesses who could corroborate her story.

Koegler identified himself as a close friend of Ford and her husband, saying he has known them for more than five years and had coached their son's baseball team.

Another, comes with the mid term elections, which are just over a month away. In a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, the Republican from ME ended speculation that she would dissent from the rest of her party and block the nomination. Manchin faces extraordinary political pressure. "I would say if we're talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court", Mrs. Trump said while speaking to reporters in Egypt during a solo global trip to Africa.

Protesters chanted "Shame" at Manchin later when he talked to reporters outside his office.

Three female GOP senators - Jodi Ernst of Iowa, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Cindy Hyde-Smith of MS, sat directly behind Collins as she spoke. Then she took her seat, looking down with a stone-faced expression.

When she finished, Collins received applause from the roughly two dozen GOP senators present.

While she respects her colleagues' support for Kavanaugh, Murkowski said, "I also that think we're at a place where we need to think about the credibility and integrity of our institutions".

'Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capitol Hill in preparation for a 3-5 P.M. VOTE, ' Trump declared. "And that is hard". The Senate voting 51 to 49 to advance his nomination. Steve Daines to stay at his daughter's wedding in his home state instead of flying to Washington to cast his supporting vote. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed. Eleven Democrats voted for Thomas, while two Republicans opposed his confirmation.

"An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word", they said in a statement quoted in USA media. Protesters were also heard shouting from the Senate gallery during the roll call. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

First lady Melania Trump weighed in publicly for the first time on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh since sexual assault allegations were made against him, saying he is "highly qualified".

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