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
6:50 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Mitch McConnell says Senate will vote on Kavanaugh this week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the time for “delay and obstruction” during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process has come to a close.

On the Senate floor, he said, “we will be voting this week."

Earlier in his speech, he accused Democrats of "moving the goal posts" on the judge's nomination.

4:00 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Mitch McConnell: You can "hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goal posts"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking from the floor of the Senate, blamed Senate Democrats for "moving the goal posts" and delaying Brett Kavanaugh's conformation process.

McConnell said that while Democrats have said an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh can be completed in a week, he suspects they'll be unhappy when its finished.

"I bet almost anything that after it runs its course in the next few days, we will then be treated to a lecture that anything short of a totally unbounded fishing expedition of indefinite duration is too limited or too arbitrary or somehow insufficient," he said.

McConnell added: "If you listen carefully... you can practically hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goal posts."

An important note: While Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have long called for an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, it was Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's request for one that ultimately propelled its launch.

Flake on Friday voted for Kavanaugh to move out of the committee. But he also made clear that he would not vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor without an FBI investigation of the sexual assault allegation against him.

Watch more from McConnell:

3:43 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake: I didn't like Kavanaugh's partisan tone

Sen. Jeff Flake — who on Friday said he would not vote for Brett Kavanaugh on the Senate floor without an FBI investigation — said he didn't like the judge's "partisan" tone during his testimony last week.

"I didn't like some of the more partisan references and the tone, particularly the interaction with some of my colleagues, with Amy Klobuchar, that he came back and apologized after a break," Flake said referencing comments Kavanaugh made to the Minnesota Democrat.

Flake continued: "I don't want to politicize the court. The Supreme Court is one of the last bastions of trust of an institution with which Americans have trust."

Flake also said he wants the FBI to conduct a "real investigation."

"It does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover, for example. We actually need to find out what we can find out," he said.

3:01 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Why the public may not see the FBI's report on Kavanaugh

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

The FBI got right to work after they received the official request from the White House for a supplementary background investigation on Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Agents have already reached out to key players related to the allegation from Christine Blasey Ford.

This will become important in the next few days: The White House ordered the FBI to do a supplemental background investigation. When the FBI completes its work, it sends what it has collected back to the White House. The White House then adds that information to the nominee's background file, which is then sent to the Senate.

Only then can senators see it, and only senators and a limited number of staff have access to it.

In other words, don't expect some big public report. There will likely be efforts to make the information public, especially by whichever side it helps. But it's not a clean process of public release.

2:41 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

White House official says FBI not limited in investigation

From CNN's Jim Acosta and Ariane de Vogue

The White House has made it clear to the FBI that agents are not limited in their expanded background search on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one White House official tells CNN.

The source involved pushed back on the idea that the White House would stop further investigation. Now, the FBI can go back to the White House, and if it says there are other witnesses, the White House can send them back out. 

This source says the White House is 100% open to further calls by the FBI.

The source said it is “false” to say that the investigation is almost wrapped up but stressed even extra calls shouldn’t take the FBI that long.

1:58 p.m. ET, October 1, 2018

Here's the list of people Senate Judiciary Democrats want interviewed

From CNN's Sunlen Serfaty

Nine of the 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent White House counsel Don McGahn and FBI Director Christopher Wray a letter today. (Sen. Chris Coons did not sign it.)

The letter provides a list of individuals they believe should be interviewed at a minimum as part of the FBI investigation into the Brett Kavanaugh allegations.

The letter reads:

“We ask that you confirm that the FBI background investigation will include the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick and that the FBI will perform all logical steps related to these allegations, including interviewing other individuals who might have relevant information and gathering evidence related to the truthfulness of statements made in relation to these allegations. 

And here's the list of people they want interviewed:

  • Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's first accuser
  • Lynne Brookes, Kavanaugh’s friend from Yale
  • Russell Ford, Ford’s husband.
  • Christopher Garrett
  • Timothy Gaudette, Kavanagh’s friend and Georgetown Prep classmate
  • Adela Gildo-Mazzon, Ford's friend
  • Sean Hagan, Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate.
  • Jeremiah P. Hanafin, D.C.-area polygraph examiner who conduced Ford's
  • Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend and Georgetown Prep classmate
  • Thomas Kane
  • Brett Kavanaugh
  • Leland Keyser, Ford’s high school friend
  • Keith Koegler, friend of Ford
  • Mark Krasberg
  • Bernie McCarthy
  • Richard Oh, Kavanaugh’s classmate at Yale College.
  • Potomac Village Safeway, to examine the employment records for this store to verify Ford’s claims and to determine the relevant time period
  • Deborah Ramirez, Kavanaugh's second accuser
  • Elizabeth Rasor, Ex-girlfriend and college classmate of Judge
  • James Roche, Kavanaugh’s freshman roommate at Yale
  • Patrick J. Smyth, Kavanaugh’s friend and Georgetown Prep classmate. 
  • Julie Swetnick, Kavanaugh's third accuser
  • Elizabeth Swisher, Kavanaugh’s friend from Yale
  • Rebecca White, Ford's friend


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.