Mitch McConnell Sets Friday Vote to Thwart Filibuster of Brett Kavanaugh

Mitch McConnell Sets Friday Vote to Thwart Filibuster of Brett Kavanaugh

Mitch McConnell Sets Friday Vote to Thwart Filibuster of Brett Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford charged Judge, Kavanaugh's friend from Georgetown Prep, was in the room when she claims Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and covered her mouth when she screamed during a high school party in the 1980s. U.S. Capitol Police said 302 were arrested - among them comedian Amy Schumer, a distant relative of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Senate Republicans plan a procedural "cloture" vote at 10:30 on Friday (14:30 GMT), which would end the debate on the nomination, followed by a final vote on Saturday at around 17:30 (21:30 GMT).

Republicans hold 51 of the 100 Senate seats.

Trump, pushing the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh to a lifetime job on the top USA court, said on Twitter after the FBI finished its investigation that the allegations against his nominee were "totally uncorroborated".

Much of the focus Thursday will be on the reactions of three Republicans whose votes are considered key to Kavanaugh's fate: Flake, Collins and Lisa Murkowski, Alaska.

Congressmen from across the aisle spent yesterday behind closed doors reviewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation report into claims of sexual misconduct against Mr Kavanaugh, as the fate of Donald Trump's choice for America's top court hung in the balance. Flake said he saw no additional corroborating information against Kavanaugh, although he was "still reading" it.

Even though the report is not public, if there was a bombshell revelation in it about Kavanaugh, the Democrats would have said so. Gardner's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said there's "a lot of unprecedented activity taking place" because of the pitched battle over Kavanaugh, who would likely provide the decisive fifth vote for a conservative majority on the nine-member court.

A senior Senate Republican aide said there was growing confidence that Republican Senators Susan Collins and Flake and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin - all swing votes - would support Kavanaugh.

In an October 3 piece for Politico, journalist Matthew Miller stressed that Democrats needed to be aggressive and proactive in demanding a more comprehensive investigation of Kavanaugh.

The bad news for Republicans: Recent polls show that a majority of women do not think Kavanaugh should be confirmed. And now, just weeks before the midterm elections Kavanaugh is accused of sexual misconduct in high school and college.

Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, said over four hours of testimony that a drunken Kavanaugh attacked her and tried to remove her clothing at a gathering of teenagers when he was 17 years old and she was 15 in 1982. At times, my testimony-both in my opening statement and in response to questions-reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of awful conduct completely contrary to my record and character.

"I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said, Kavanaugh wrote, arguing he was "forceful and passionate" in denying the allegations against him".

Meanwhile, about 3000 demonstrators have gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest, . Their decision could make or break Kavanaugh's nomination.

In a criticism against all of Mr Kavanaugh's accusers - two other women have accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct - Mr Trump said: "These are really evil people".

Earlier this week Donald Trump was criticised for imitating Dr Ford at a rally in Mississippi. If so, that could be enough for a Trump victory.

"I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences", he added, saying the country's top court "must never be viewed as a partisan institution". Republican leaders sounded unmoved.

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