The FBI is free to investigate any sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that it deems credible, two White House spokeswomen said on Sunday, rebuffing suggestions the administration has tried to limit the probe.
Flake, who will be leaving the Senate at the end of the year, said while he meant to vote for Kavanaugh in committee, he wanted an FBI investigation of Dr. Ford's allegation before the entire Senate took up the matter.
The delay in a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to accommodate the new examination was forced Friday by Republican senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Despite ordering the FBI investigation, President Trump has continued to defend his nominee Mr Kavanaugh, who denies all the allegations against him.
In a statement, Trump said, "I've ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh's file ..." The Republican majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee refused her request, but they did invite her and Judge Kavanaugh to appear before the panel.
While the precise scope of the reopened background investigation of Kavanaugh remained unclear, Trump told reporters on Saturday that "the FBI, as you know, is all over talking to everybody" and said "this could be a blessing in disguise".
The FBI has reached out to the second woman who has accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The FBI investigation, which is set to take no longer than one week, was requested by key swing-vote senators, including Sens.
"Throughout this process, I've been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I've done a number of "background" calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the Senators and their counsel asked me".
Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Willing to Testify Next Week
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed a growing number of Americans opposing Kavanaugh's nomination. The alleged assault took place when Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17; they were in high school then.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the parameters of the probe are based on the wishes of three wavering colleagues - Sens.
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway delivered a similar message Sunday, repeating that the investigation will be "limited in scope" and "will not be a fishing expedition. I'm a victim of sexual assault", she said.
Graham was referring to an allegation from another woman, Julie Swetnick, who has come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh and Judge, saying they were present at the party in the early 1980s where she says she was gang-raped.
Flake stopped short of where Democrats hoped he would land, which was putting a hold on a committee vote.
According to Sanders, Democrats have been "absolutely disgraceful in the way that they've handled this process, in the way that the've exploited Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford".
"I think the allegation that she makes is outrageous and not one Democrat mentioned it", he told ABC's This Week.
The accuser's name has been redacted in all Senate documents since this allegation first became public with the release of a transcript from Kavanaugh's Monday conference call under penalty of felony, in which he cateogorically denied it. Journalists, however, were quickly able to find the social media account referenced along with the allegation.
Ford claims Kavanuagh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982, when they were both still in high school.