Senators vote on Kavanaugh's nomination

By Brian Ries, Meg Wagner, Jessie Yeung, Veronica Rocha and Paul P. Murphy, CNN
1:11 PM ET, Sun November 25, 2018
1:48 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Kavanaugh's Yale roommate says he's never been contacted by the FBI

James Roche — one of Brett Kavanaugh’s freshman year roommates at Yale — tweeted today that the FBI has never contacted him for any of his background checks

"I assume college behavior was not a topic of interest. They did not find Debbie's story because they were not looking for it," Roche tweeted, referring to Debbie Ramirez’s allegation of an incident at Yale.

Roche previously said in a statement that Kavanaugh “became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.”  

I do remember Brett frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk,” Roche had said in a statement last week, before Kavanaugh’s testimony. Kavanaugh said he never “blacked out” or “passed out” from drinking.

1:33 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

FBI hasn't told the Senate when the Kavanaugh investigation will end

From CNN's Manu Raju

As of this morning, the FBI has not told the Senate Judiciary Committee about when the background investigation on Brett Kavanaugh will be complete, an aide to Chairman Chuck Grassley says.

On Friday, Senate Republicans agreed to allow the FBI to conduct a one-week investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.

12:56 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Trump: Kavanaugh should be interviewed by FBI if senators want

From CNNs Kevin Liptak

President Trump said Monday his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be interviewed by the FBI if it helps lawmakers make a decision on his nomination.

 "I think so," Trump said when asked if the FBI should question his nominee. "It’s up to them."

 "I think the FBI should interview anybody they want, but within reason," Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden.

"They should interview, but they should be guided by what the senators are looking for," he said.

12:51 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Trump on Kavanaugh: "He's had a little bit of difficulty. He talked about things that happened when he drank."

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak

President Trump, in a comment that seemed to go further than Brett Kavanaugh’s public comments, said of his nominee: "He's had a little bit of difficulty. He talked about things that happened when he drank."

Asked about concerns that the Supreme Court nominee mischaracterized his drinking, Trump said, “I watched him. I was surprised at how vocal he was about he fact that he likes beer ... This is not a man that said that he was perfect with respect to alcohol.” 

Responding to questions from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Trump suggested “there are bad reports on everybody” present in the Rose Garden, “Expect for Mike Pence by the way,” he joked.  

“I think the Judge has been pretty amazing about describing his situation with alcohol and with beer,” he said, pivoting to criticize Democratic Senators Corey Booker, Dianne Feinstein, and Richard Blumenthal. 

Pressed on whether lying would be disqualifying, Trump said, “I don’t think he did.”  

12:49 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Trump says he wants a "comprehensive" investigation on Kavanaugh — but decries "trauma" judge has gone through

President Trump says he wants a "comprehensive" but "quick" FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"I want the FBI — this is now their seventh investigation — I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation," Trump said in the Rose Garden. "Whatever that means according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority, I want them to do that."

But, Trump said "I want it to go quickly" since the lingering accusations are unfair to Kavanaugh. 

"It’s unfair to him at this point," Trump said.

Trump decried the "trauma" Kavanaugh has been subjected to in the confirmation process.

'This is our seventh investigation of a man who has really — you look at his life, until this happened, what a change he’s gone through. The trauma for a man who has never had any accusations, Trump said.

Trump continued: "So I want the FBI, this is now  the 7th investigation. It's not like they are just starting. I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation." 

Watch more:

12:45 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Trump says he will take the FBI investigation "into consideration" on Kavanaugh

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Trump said Monday he hopes Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice but said he would take the FBI's findings into account once they complete their supplemental investigation.

 "Certainly, if they find something I'm going to take that into consideration," Trump said. "Certainly, I have a very open mind."

 "The person who takes that position is going to be there for a long time," Trump added.

 Still, the President declined to talk about whether he has a "Plan B" in the even Kavanaugh is not confirmed.

 "I don’t want to talk about plan B because I think — I hope he’s going to get approved," Trump said.
12:42 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

New questions emerge over FBI investigation of Kavanaugh

Analysis by Stephen Collinson

The White House is fighting to regain control of the confirmation of Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, but a controversy is widening over its role in an FBI investigation into allegations against the nominee of sexual assault and misconduct.

New signs emerged Sunday that the administration is taking steps to make sure the probe is narrow and focused -- as Republicans seek to forestall further delays to the confirmation process or another erosion of the judge's position.

So while President Donald Trump may have been forced to reopen an FBI background check on Kavanaugh, it is clear he is determined to get the process back on track in a strategy already inflaming partisan discord over the nomination.

A swift investigation by the FBI -- should it produce no new information about Kavanaugh's past that hurts his chances -- could permit Republicans to fire up the machinery of the Senate and potentially call procedural votes to advance the nomination by the end of the week.

Such a timetable would keep alive the effort to present GOP base voters with a generational deliverable and a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court that could juice turnout for midterm elections in November that are looking favorable for Democrats.

But the extent to which the White House is controlling the process is likely to stoke fresh turmoil around a nomination that is already certain to trigger long-term political reverberations.

Keep reading.

11:18 a.m. ET, October 1, 2018

READ: Yale classmate's full statement on Kavanaugh

Chad Ludington, a Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, accused him on Sunday of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and making a "blatant mischaracterization" of his drinking while in college.

Read his full statement here.

11:00 a.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Supreme Court begins new term with only 8 justices

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

A short-handed Supreme Court will take the bench again on Monday to gavel in a term that has been totally eclipsed by the raging battle over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

Back in July when President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a move that would cement a conservative majority for decades to come, Republicans hoped that Kavanaugh would be seated for the start of the new term.

That all changed when Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh vehemently denies. Now Kavanaugh's confirmation, which seemed certain a few weeks ago, has been thrown into question.

So for the second time in recent years, Chief Justice John Roberts will find himself having to navigate the docket with only eight justices.

That means he will proceed gingerly, perhaps delaying some pending petitions to hear cases, examining existing cases to see if more narrow avenues of agreement are available and hoping that some cases currently in the lower courts on divisive issues continue to percolate below before reaching the high court.

All the while, the justices know that even if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, President Donald Trump will likely nominate another conservative, and the court is still poised to take a hard right turn.

"I think a more accurate caption for this term is the 'calm before the storm,'" Irving Gornstein, executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law said at a recent event.

Keep reading: Supreme Court begins new term in shadow of Kavanaugh fight