Brett Kavanaugh nomination faces delay

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries, Paul P. Murphy, Sophie Tatum and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 5:58 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018
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2:32 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Trump defers to Senate on Kavanaugh investigation: "Whatever they think is necessary"

From CNN's Jessie Yeung and Jeff Zeleny

Speaking to reporters after the committee adjourned, President Trump called Ford "a very fine woman."

"I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman," Trump said. 

"And I thought that Brett's testimony likewise was really something that I hadn't seen before. It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our country. But certainly she was a very credible witness."

Trump, who met with the Chilean president on Friday, noted that he couldn't attend the hearings, but that "I think it will work out very well for the country. I just want it to work out well for the country. If it happens, I'm happy."

He also deferred to the Senate on the question of reopening an investigation.

"I'm going to let the Senate handle that. They will make their decisions,” Trump said. “They'll do a good job. I'm just hearing a little bit about it... Whatever they think is necessary they will do.”

Watch it here:

2:28 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Grassley told Feinstein it was a "gentlemen and women's agreement" before mics turned off

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

Jeff Flake had barely finished speaking before Sen. Chuck Grassley cut him off, adjourning the committee. "Because of the two-hour rule, we're adjourned," Grassley said. There was a moment of silence, before Sen. Feinstein asked incredulously, "What?"

Flake seemed to be surprised, too.

Sen. Dianne Feinstin then turned to Grassley to argue there was no vote, to which Grassley replied, "We had to get this all done by 2:00."

"Well, is it done? Is Flake's argument going to happen or did you cut off a vote?" Feinstein asked.

"We didn't have a motion," Grassley said. "This is all a gentlemen and women's agreement."

Feinstein repeated "a gentleman and women's agreement..." then cut off a colleague who interrupted. "Let him say what he's committed to," she said, as the microphones cut off.

2:26 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Just yesterday, when asked about a delay, Kavanaugh said he's already waited a lifetime

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue  

During yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Chris Coons asked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about the possibility of waiting a week for an FBI investigation.

Here's how that exchange went down:

Kavanaugh: When you say a week delay, you know how long the last 10 days have been?

Coons: Probably an eternity.

Kavanaugh: Yes.

Coons: But in the Judge Thomas confirmation hearing —

Kavanaugh: For us everyday —

Coons: It was a four-day delay.

Kavanaugh: has been a lifetime. And you know, yes, and it’s been investigated and all four witnesses say it didn’t happen. And they’ve said it under penalty of felony, and I’ve produced my calendars which show, you know, a lot — that’s important evidence and you act like — I mean, the last 10 days I asked for a hearing the day after the allegation.

2:21 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Graham: "Somebody's got to explain this to Trump"

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — who turned heads at Thursday's hearing with an impassioned defense of Judge Brett Kavanaugh — spoke to reporters after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake called for an FBI investigation prior to a full Senate vote.

Graham:

"I think Democrats will say, if we do what Jeff said, that would end the process dispute, at least a few of them. I don't expect any of them to vote for the guy but if we ask the FBI to look at what's in front of us, no later than a week, no longer than a week, they would say that would be a better process, that would be progress. And Jeff's trying his best to bring the country together and vote the best way he knows how."

When asked about what would happen next, Graham said: "I'm not speaking for Mitch. I'm going to talk with Jeff. Somebody's got to explain this to Trump. So I guess that will be my job." 

2:15 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Here's what just happened — and what we think it means

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

A lot just happened, there's no doubt about that.

There was some drama when Sen. Jeff Flake went missing from the meeting room and then came back -- with a condition on his "yes" vote.

So here's where things stand, as far as we can tell:

  • Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination has been approved. It now heads to the floor.
  • Sen. Jeff Flake voted yes on the grounds that he would get support to request a floor vote delay and a one week FBI investigation.
  • However, Flake has been given NO commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • If McConnell moves forward without that investigation, Flake will vote against Kavanaugh.
  • Whether this happens or not rests with senators such as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, who have not announced how they plan to vote.
2:09 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Flake: "This country is being ripped apart here. We've got to make sure that we do due diligence."

Sen. Jeff Flake just spoke for a few minutes to explain what it was he is trying to accomplish. We'll let him speak for himself.

Here's Flake, in his own words:

I'm simply stating the discussion that we had between us all is that I would hope and I think we had some agreement before that the Democrats who have been -- I think -- justifiably uncomfortable moving ahead, could publicly, in an effort to bring this country together, say that we would feel better.... I'm not expecting them to vote yes... but not to complain that an FBI investigation has not occurred. This is what I'm trying to do. This country is being ripped apart here. We've got to make sure that we do due diligence.
2:00 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Senate Judiciary committee votes to send Kavanaugh to the floor

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to send the Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the floor, 11-10, amid the drama over the request for a delay.

Watch the vote:

1:58 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

BREAKING: Flake calls for delay of Kavanaugh vote to allow for FBI investigation

Sen. Jeff Flake just said he would vote to move Judge Brett Kavanaugh out of the Judiciary Committee and to the floor of the Senate as long as the main vote would be delayed by up to one week to allow for an FBI investigation.

1:48 p.m. ET, September 28, 2018

Protesters are cramming into Sen. Susan Collins' office in Portland, Maine

Maine Public Radio's Susan Sharon tells CNN that there are so many protesters in and out of Republican's Senator Susan Colllins' office in Portland, Maine, that's there's not enough room to move -- even in the hall.