The vote for cloture, or to limit to 30 hours the debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, passed the Senate on a 51-49 vote. The final vote, in which Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed, will take place Saturday afternoon.
Update: 9:15 a.m. EDT Oct. 6: Democrats took to the Senate floor overnight to deliver speeches in opposition of Kavanaugh's nomination. As the vote tally stands now, Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed 50-48. The final vote is scheduled to take place this afternoon.
Update: 8:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she opposes Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh but will ask to be recorded as "present" during Saturday's confirmation vote to accommodate another GOP senator who will be at his daughter's wedding in Montana.
Sen Lisa Murkowski R-AK says even though she opposes Kavanaugh, she will vote 'Present' - so Sen Daines can stay at his daughter's wedding
Update: 3:54 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin issued a statement shortly after Sen. Collins speech saying he will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court, calls him a 'qualified jurist.'
Update: 3:51 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Senator Susan Collins (R. - Maine) has made her announcement how she plans to vote Saturday on Judge Brent Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins: "Today we have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion" pic.twitter.com/xHfRzY5rZI
Update 1:38 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Sen. Mitch McConnell told reporters that he has had lunch with some Senate republicans and that, "We're heading towards a final vote tomorrow afternoon, and I'm optimistic," a producer and reporter with NBC News is reporting.
MCCONNELL says he just had lunch with with a group of Senate republicans including @SenatorCollins: “We’re heading towards a final vote tomorrow afternoon, and I’m optimistic.”
Update 12:33 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Susan Collins will announce how she intends to vote at 3 p.m. EDT Friday. If she votes yes, Kavanaugh's nomination will pass as long as no Republican changes the way he or she voted on the cloture motion.
Flake is a YES. Murkowski looks to be a NO. That means if Collins is a YES at 3 pm, then Kavanaugh wins, no matter what Manchin does https://t.co/JywcSfwp3I
Update 12:14 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flakesays barring anything "big" happening, he will vote for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
Update 12:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 5: Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she will not vote for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday. She said Friday that she does not believe he is "the right man for the court at this time."
Update 10:46 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: The vote for cloture is now at 51-42. If no one of the yes votes change their mind, cloture will pass.
Update 10:33 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: McConnell says, "They have harmed a good man and the reputation of this institution … Facts matters, fairness matters." He urges the Senate to vote yes on his nomination. The vote is about to begin.
Update 10:31 am. EDT Oct. 5: "Witnesses didn't witness anything," McConnell said. "They have spoken to the FBI and what we know now is what we knew a week ago, there is no corroboration on these allegations. … "All the Keystone Cops were on the case."
Update 10:22 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: McConnell slams Democrats for their role in the confirmation process. He says Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, claimed that Kavanaugh did not deserve due process in the allegations of sexual assault brought against him. He says Democrats announced minutes after Kavanaugh's nomination by President Trump that they vowed to stop his confirmation and they have worked to do that.
Update 10:19 a.m. EDT Oct 5: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is speaking.
KAVANAUGH FINAL FOUR - Collins to announce at 3 pm (will vote for cloture) Manchin - undecided Flake has not announced Murkowski - undecided
Update 10:16 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: "I do not see how my colleagues can say Kavanaugh has the temperament to serve on the Supreme Court," Schumer says. "For all the controversy, all the heavy handiness ... there's always hope the Senate can save itself."
Update 10:12 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Schumer says Kavanaugh sees a "president cum king" when it comes to presidential powers. Schumer says Trump is currently facing investigations of his own.
Update 10:09 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Schumer says the nomination could have come to the floor of the Senate at any time, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted by his own party.
Update 10:05 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, is speaking. "The Kavanaugh nomination will go down as one of the saddest, most sordid chapters in the country's history."
Update at 10 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Feinstein is talking about Christine Ford's testimony. "My Republican colleagues have largely decided to ignore her testimony." She says both Ford and a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, supplied the FBI with a list of witnesses, but the FBI spoke to none of them. She ends her remarks by saying, "I do not believe that Judge Kavanaugh has earned this seat."
Update at 9:55 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Feinstein says Kavanaugh's views on guns are a danger. She is also concerned about his views on presidential powers. "In other words, a president is above and outside the law," she said.
Update at 9:50 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Sen. Dianne Feinstein is speaking. She says she has never seen a confirmation process like this one. Feinstein has been in the Senate since 1993. She is talking about the danger Roe v. Wade would be in if Kavanaugh is confirmed.
Update 9:49 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: "They have encouraged mob rule," Grassley says of the Democrats.
Update 9:39 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: Grassley slams Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, for "keeping secret" the letter she received from Dr. Christine Ford about allegations of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh and not bringing them up until the eve of the Judiciary Committee's vote to recommend Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. There were six times she could have done something with the letter, Grassley says. Then he lists them.
Update 9:33 a.m. EDT Oct 5: Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is speaking now in favor of Kavanaugh's nomination.
“This should have been a respectful and dignified process,” Grassley says before tearing into the Democrats.
He says what “left-wing and dark money groups” have done, “shamed us all. The fix was in,” Grassley said.
Update 9:30 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: The Senate is in session now.
Daines’ daughter’s wedding is scheduled for Saturday in Montana. Normally, that would not be an issue for the Senate, but on Saturday, senators will likely be voting on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And, as it is often in life, the math could be the problem.
If all the senators (100) are present and voting and all the Republicans vote for Kavanaugh, his nomination will pass 51-49.
If Daines is out, and all Republicans vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination, the vote would be 50-49, still a win for Kavanaugh. However, if Daines is not there, and one of the three Republican senators – Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – decides to vote against Kavanaugh, his nomination would fail. None of the three senators have declared as to how they will vote.
In another scenario, one of the three GOP senators in question could vote no and the nomination could still pass if a Democrat, such as Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, votes for Kavanaugh. Manchin has not declared how he intends to vote.
Or, if it appears Kavanaugh’s nomination is in danger, the vote could be held open until Daines could get back to D.C. from his daughter’s wedding.
Update 7:40 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: The vote for cloture, or to end debate on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, is set to take place on Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. We will have live updates on the vote here.
Update 8 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Judge Brett Kavanaugh made a direct appeal to public opinion in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Thursday night.
Daines vote may not matter, if Senate Republicans have 50 votes without him. If they loose any of the crucial votes they need like Maine’s Susan Collins or Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, then they would have to postpone the vote until next week.
Update 5:35 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: A retired U.S. Supreme Court judge on Thursday said he does not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens told a crowd of retirees in Florida that Kavanaugh lacks the temperament for the job, and does not belong on the Supreme Court, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Stevens said he once thought Kavanaugh had the qualifications for the job, but changed his mind after watching the hearings last Thursday.
Retired #SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens on Judge #Kavanaugh: “I’ve changed my views for reasons that have no really relationship to his intellectual ability or his record as a federal judge…I think that his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind.” pic.twitter.com/RyM6ZKOevx
Meantime, four senators are crucial in seating Kavanaugh on the high court: Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Manchin told reporters as he was leaving Thursday that he plan on finishing his review of the FBI probe Friday morning.
Sen. Manchin, leaving briefing, would not say which way he was leaning. He said he still needed to finish reviewing the report, saying he planned to go back tomorrow between 9a-10a. He said he made it about halfway through the material.
It’s still unclear how Collins, Murkowsi or Flake plan to vote and they, along with Manchin, are considered crucial key votes in whether Kavanaugh is ultimately confirmed.
Update 4 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: A protest against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court took shape around noon in Washington D.C. as it looked more likely that he would be seated on the high court.
Protesters gathered outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington and chanted and marched through the city’s streets. By 4 p.m., the protesters packed the Hart Senate Office Building.
"We anticipate a vote on the Senate floor to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as early as Friday," #CANCELKAVANAUGH organizer, Party Majority PAC, wrote on the the group’s website. "It is critical we make our voices heard on the ground in Washington on Thursday."
Update 3 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Republican senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Thom Tillis, John Cornyn and Mike Lee talked to reporters Thursday afternoon in support of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, hours after the supplemental FBI investigation into charges of sexual misconduct was provided to the White House. Senators have spent the day reading the report in a secured room in the Capitol.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell said the FBI report did not corroborate any allegations against Kavanaugh, and that there was nothing Republicans could do to “satisfy the Democrats.”
The senators spoke for about 20 minutes, taking turns pledging their support to Kavanaugh and his confirmation. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he “feels good” about Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Not because of the votes needed for confirmation, he said, but because of Kavanaugh ’s qualifications to sit on the court.
Grassley also denounced delaying tactics from Democrats, and Hatch said he was “disappointed in his Democratic colleagues.”
Update at 2:30 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, says she will vote no on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, according to the Associated Press.
Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Who can see the FBI report on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and how do they go about doing it? There are rules for the senators to view the report.
According to The Associated Press, the rules for keeping investigations confidential grew out of an agreement governing background checks dating from the Obama administration.
Here are a few of the rules:
All 100 senators can see the report. There are nine staff members – from both parties – who also have access to the report.
There is one copy and it is being held in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility – or SCIF.
The senators come to that room to read it.
Each party has an hour in the room for a group of their members to read the report, then the other party gets an hour.
Senators may not bring cell phones into the room.
Senators are not supposed to discuss what they read in any detail.
Update 12:08 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: According to The Hill website, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, R, says he saw nothing in the FBI report that corroborates allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"Thus far, we've seen no new credible corroboration — no new corroboration at all," Flake said of the report.
Update 11:31 a.m. EDT Oct. 4: Senate Democrats are saying that the just-released supplemental FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is incomplete. According to a story from The Washington Post, several top Senate Democrats say they believe the FBI was constrained by the White House as to what they could investigate.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, told journalists that the report was a “product of an incomplete investigation,” the Post reported.
Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, said he disagreed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Grassley said earlier Thursday that after reading the report her felt there was "no hint of misconduct.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called for an end to the confirmation process and a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“It’s time to put this embarrassing spectacle behind us,” McConnell said. “The American people are sick of this display that's been put on here in the United States Senate in the guise of a confirmation process.”
Update 10:08 a.m. EDT Oct. 4:
Chuck Grassley, chairman of the the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that there is “No hint of misconduct” in the confidential FBI report on sexual misconduct claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
BREAKING: GOP Senate Judiciary chair: `No hint of misconduct' in confidential FBI report on Kavanaugh sexual misconduct claims .
The AP is reporting that Grassley has read the full report and found “nothing we didn’t already know.”
Update 9:53 a.m. EDT Oct. 4: A White House official has confirmed that the FBI interviewed nine people in its supplemental inquiry of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, National Public Radio is reporting.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was not one of the people interviewed, according to her attorney.
Update 8:47 a.m. EDT Oct. 4: From reporter Jamie Dupree:
Update 5:33 a.m. EDT Oct. 4: The Senate Judiciary Committee has received the report from an FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to its chairman. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted early Thursday that the "Supplemental FBI background file for Judge Kavanaugh has been received."
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
The FBI delivered the report to the White House late Wednesday.
According to The Associated Press, early Thursday, Grassley will read the full report on the allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Ford when the two were in high school and that he engaged in sexual misconduct when he was a student at Yale University.
The other members of the committee will then be given the report to read.
Update 2:33 a.m. EDT Oct. 4: The FBI's report on Kavanaugh has been given to the White House and is on the way to the Senate, spokesman Raj Shah tweeted early Thursday.
"The White House has received the Federal Bureau of Investigation's supplemental background investigation into Judge Kavanaugh, and it is being transmitted to the Senate," Shah's statement read.
"With Leader McConnell's cloture filing, Senators have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation," the statementcontinued. "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 vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court."
.@WhiteHouse statement on @FBI supplemental background investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh:
“The White House has received the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s supplemental background investigation into Judge Kavanaugh, and it is being transmitted to the Senate. (1/3)
With Leader McConnell’s cloture filing, Senators have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation. This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple (2/3)
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 vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” – White House Spokesman Raj Shah (3/3)
Update 10:10 p.m. EDT Oct. 3: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a key procedural vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Mitch McConnell just filed cloture (which starts the clock on the confirmation vote) and we haven’t (as of now) even seen the FBI report yet,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in a social media post Wednesday night .
Mitch McConnell just filed cloture (which starts the clock on the confirmation vote) and we haven’t (as of now) even seen the FBI report yet.
The statement cited Kavanaugh’s behavior during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday into sexual assault allegations against him.
“Judge Kavanaugh exhibited extreme partisan bias and disrespect towards certain members of the committee and thereby demonstrated that he possesses neither the temperament nor the character essential for a member of the highest court in our nation,” according to the statement.
Organization officials also said that there were "several misstatements and some outright falsehoods" in his testimony about Christine Blasey Ford's allegations of sexual assault, but the group cited other concerns about Kavanaugh's nomination, as well, including a "troubling political record" on issues such as "voting rights, racial and gender justice, health care and environmental protections."
Update 2:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 3: Senate Republicans expect to receive results of the latest FBI background investigation into U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to file cloture on Kavanaugh's nomination after the FBI report is submitted. The motion would cut off debate and move the nomination closer to a vote by the full Senate.
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT Oct. 3: The lawyer for Julie Swetnick, the third woman who has publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, says now a fourth woman has come forward claiming Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker in his teens who spiked the drinks of women at parties.
Michael Avenatti tweeted on Wednesday that his new client has said in a sworn statement that while she and Kavanaugh were in high school, the two crossed paths at 20 or more parties an that she saw him “spike” the “punch” at those parties, in addition to acting “inappropriate” toward women.
Avenatti said his new client would be “fully willing” to speak to the FBI about Kavanaugh. She was not named on Wednesday and her personal information was redacted from the statement posted.
Yet another accuser has come forward (see sworn stmt below). She is prepared to meet with the FBI today and disclose multiple facts and witnesses. pic.twitter.com/eNsCAau6no
Update 8:38 a.m. EDT Oct. 3: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said the FBI's supplemental background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be completed in enough time to have the Senate vote on Kavanaugh's nomination by the weekend.
McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that “We’ll have an F.B.I. report this week, and we’ll have a vote this week.”
After the FBI shares what they’ve found, Senators will have the opportunity to vote. We’ll have the opportunity to vote “no” on the politics of personal destruction. We’ll have the opportunity to vote “yes” on this fine nominee.
Lawyers for Dr. Christine Ford said they sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray to find out why they had not yet been contacted for an interview for the investigation some say is expected to conclude on Wednesday or Thursday.
John Clune, an attorney for Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, said he had not heard back from the FBI about a witness list he provided the agency. Clune said the 20 people of the list could help corroborate Ramirez’s story.
Clune said Ramirez was interviewed by the FBI on Sunday.
Update 5:22 a.m. EDT Oct. 3: President Donald Trump mocked Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a campaign rally in Southaven, Mississippi, on Tuesday night.
"How did you get home? 'I don't remember,'" Trump, imitating Ford, told the crowd, according to The Associated Press. "How did you get there? 'I don't remember.' Where is the place? 'I don't remember.' How many years ago was it? 'I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.'"
A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice. https://t.co/UJ0bGxV1EZ
Original report: Three former clerks for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about their concerns over the sexual assault and lewd behavior allegations against him, according to news reports.
In a letter to committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein clerks Will Dreher, Bridget Fahey and Rakim Brooks -- who all previously said Kavanaugh was "great" -- said they wanted to "clarify" their previous remarks about "positive experiences with the Judge as a boss and a mentor on the D.C. Circuit," The Huff Post reported.
The clerks said they wanted to clarify what they thought about Kavanaugh now, because committee members had used their positive words about the nominee from letters they sent before the serious accusations arose, and made it seem like the previous remarks were their response to the allegations.
"We write to clarify, like many Americans, we have been deeply troubled by those allegations and the events surrounding them and were encouraged by the initiation of a formal FBI investigation, which we believe is warranted," the trio said in the letter.
They also said they hoped the investigation would be “independent and thorough.”
In related news, three former Kavanaugh clerks who previously said he was great just wrote to the Judiciary Committee to clarify that they are "deeply troubled" by the allegations against him. pic.twitter.com/9s8Bb7Uhtx