36 hours ago, the FBI released its investigation report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, developing one-copy that entails the findings in the since-uncorroborated accusations of sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh 36 years ago in high school in suburban Maryland. Following her briefing with the report, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) stated that she is leaning towards a “no” vote on the Supreme Court nominee.
Friday morning, the Alaska Republican said that it is time to consider “the credibility and integrity of our institutions,” according to AP.
Regardless, one of the other swing voters in the Republican Party, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), said Friday afternoon that she will be supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, just hours before the Saturday vote.
The Maine Republican has been one of the most volatile votes due to her stance that Judge Kavanaugh would rule on the court to over turn Roe v. Wade, second to Senator Murkowski. Collins said the she will vote for the nominee and that he is entitled to the “presumption of innocence,” referencing the FBI’s investigation.
She added that allegations should not prevent Judge Kavanaugh from sitting on the Supreme Court.
Earlier in the day, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said of the FBI’s probe into the life of Judge Kavanaugh that there was “no misconduct found.”
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the one who called for the week-long FBI investigation following a committee vote, indicated during his procedural vote today that he would remain a “yes” on the nominee “unless something big changed,” Politico reports.
Voting with Republicans in favor of moving forward with the Saturday vote, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is also expected to vote for Judge Kavanaugh. Late in the afternoon, Manchin said that President Donald Trump’s nominee is a “qualified jurist.”
If one of the aforementioned senators reverse their support for Kavanaugh, Vice President Mike Pence, acting as the president of the Senate, would break the tie vote, sending Trump’s pick to the high court. Last year, Pence was the first ever in his position to cast a tiebreaking vote on a cabinet nominee, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Though, since Senators Collins, Flake, and Manchin are voting “yes” it may not be needed as the the balance now stands 51-49 in favor of the Supreme Court nominee.