Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the floor just announced the Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, with a cloture vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh set to take place one hour later.
The action moves the Senate closer to a confirmation vote, though a final vote would not take place until Saturday at the earliest.
Republican Sen. Steve Daines will be out Saturday because he is walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, so he would miss a confirmation vote for Brett Kavanaugh held that day, his spokesperson said.
It’s unclear how this will affect Saturday’s vote or if it will delay the vote — because it’s uncertain if all GOP senators will vote for the nomination. They can’t lose more than one GOP senator if all Democrats vote no.
Capitol Police arrested 302 protesters Thursday during demonstrations at the Hart and Dirksen Senate Office buildings over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.
In a statement, the department said police arrested 293 people at 3:30 p.m. ET for "unlawfully demonstrating in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building."
Two hours later, police received reports of protests on the fourth floor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. They arrested nine people.
All protesters were charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding, the department said.
Sen. Susan Colllins — a key vote in Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation — told reporters she has read the interviews and “many” of the tip line transcripts.
Departing the sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF, where the report has been held, she would not comment further on if she’d made up her mind or if she learned anything that helped her make up her mind.
Vice President Mike Pence will be in DC this weekend, a White House official tells CNN. That was always the plan: He travels tomorrow to New York City, but there was no plan for him to be out of town on Saturday and Sunday.
So why does that matter? This, of course, makes him available at a moment’s notice to drive down to Capitol Hill to cast a tie-breaking vote on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.
Senators spent Thursday reviewing the FBI's supplemental background report of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the product of a week-long investigation.
The identities of all interviewees have not been released yet, although CNN has previously confirmed some people who spoke with the FBI and others who the agency did not approach.
Here's some of the people who the FBI interviewed:
- Deborah Ramirez, who alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during his freshman year at Yale.
- Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh's who Christine Blasey Ford said was in the room during Kavanaugh's alleged assault on her.
- Leland Keyser: Ford said Keyser was at the gathering when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her. Keyser has said she did not refute Ford, but did not remember the alleged incident.
- Patrick Smyth: Ford said Smyth was also at the gathering, but not in the room, when she was assaulted.
- Chris Garrett: In Kavanaugh's now-famous calendar, which he kept around the time of the incident Ford alleges, Garrett was listed as an attendee at the 1982 party.
- Tim Gaudette: Kavanaugh's calendar also listed Gaudette as an attendee at the 1982 party.
Notably not interviewed? Lawyers for Kavanaugh accusers Christine Blasey Ford and said the FBI never interviewed her. There's also no indication that the FBI interviewed Julie Swetnick, the third accuser, or those connected to Swetnick. And Kavanaugh — the Supreme Court nominee in question — did not speak with the FBI during this investigation.
CORRECTION: This post has been corrected to reflect that Julie Swetnick was not interviewed by the FBI.
The FBI report sent to Capitol Hill includes 45 pages of interview summaries, a source familiar with the report said.
In addition, there are 1,600 extra pages of information that the FBI sent up from their tip line. The Hill did not ask for the additional pages, the source said. The source added that broad search terms were used, which also captured information not directly related to the allegations.
There was no synopsis included by the FBI and only a standard background information coversheet, according to the source.
Two protesters were arrested Thursday on suspicion of blocking the entrance to Sen. Jeff Flake's office.
After trying to meet with Flake's staff, the protesters left his office, went to the front of the office building and sat down. There are several other offices inside the building.
The protesters were calling on Flake to vote no on Brett Kavanaugh. They were joined by other demonstrators, who were protesting Kavanaugh and President Trump outside Flake's office.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said that he hasn't read the FBI report yet, but will do so tonight or tomorrow morning.
Either way, he said, he feels confident in Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"I believe Judge Kavanaugh's gonna be confirmed. Last week was a circus even from the partisan standards of how Washington is now," he said.
He criticized Sen. Dianne Feinstein for not reporting Ford's allegations earlier, and said there were "two victims" from Democrats "leaking those allegations": "No. 1, Dr. Ford and her family had their names dragged through the mud, and No. 2, Judge Kavanaugh and his family had their names dragged through the mud."
Although Cruz stressed the importance of fairness and respect for both Ford and Kavanaugh, he concluded, "I looked at the evidence and the corroborating evidence was all contrary to the allegations."
He also lambasted Democrats for "playing games" and trying to delay the confirmation, for "smearing" Kavanaugh and his family, and for their "extreme partisanship."
"Watching Senate Democrats go into high dudgeon about, 'How dare a teenage kid in high school drink beer?' is just a little ridiculous," said Cruz.