Trump orders probe into Kavanaugh

The FBI investigation will be limited in scope and completed in less than one week, says President
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday ordered a new FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court pick, as the Senate delayed a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to make way for the probe. After a dramatic day-long hearing at which a university professor accused Mr. Kavanaugh of pinning her down and assaulting her at a party in the 1980s, the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier on Friday approved his nomination in a preliminary vote along party lines. But committee chair Chuck Grassley, a Republican, then bowed to intense pressure from inside and outside Congress and announced he was asking Mr. Trump to order the new background review that “must be completed no later than one week from today.”
The Kavanaugh nomination has turned into a political firestorm ahead of November congressional elections — in which Republicans will battle to keep control of Congress — and is threatening to derail Mr. Trump’s push to get a conservative-minded majority on the top court ahead of the vote. Mr. Trump, who repeatedly blasted Democratic opposition to Mr. Kavanaugh as a political “con-job,” agreed to the investigation.
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” the president said in a statement. Mr. Flake’s 11th-hour move played out on national television amid heated partisan debate and raucous protests in the halls of the Capitol, where several women cornered the Arizona Senator in an elevator demanding he oppose Mr. Kavanaugh. “This country’s being ripped apart,” said Mr. Flake. “And we have to ensure that we do due diligence here.”
“There’s lingering doubt out there among a lot of people that we haven’t taken every measure that we should to make sure that these allegations are dealt with, and so that’s what this effort is about,” he said. His move earned the endorsement of another Republican seen as wavering on the nomination, Lisa Murkowski.
With the Republicans holding a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, that placed pressure on Mr. Trump to order the FBI probe. Republicans see Mr. Kavanaugh as pivotal to their gaining control of the nine-member Supreme Court bench.
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