Law & the Courts

Flake Demands One-Week Delay on Confirmation Vote to Allow FBI Probe

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) listens as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee meet to vote on the nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2018. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona demanded Friday that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote be delayed one week to allow time for an FBI investigation into the sexual-assault allegations against him.

Flake voted to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the floor from the Judiciary Committee, but said he would not vote to confirm the judge until an FBI investigation, “limited in time and scope,” had taken place.

“I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week, in order to let the FBI do an investigation, limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there,” Flake said.

Minutes before the vote was to take place Friday afternoon, Flake left the hearing room and entered the adjoining anteroom with Judiciary Committee Democrats, where he apparently committed to only voting to confirm Kavanaugh if an FBI probe is conducted.

Flake had released a statement just hours earlier indicating that he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh. He stipulated in his remarks that the FBI probe should be “limited [in] scope” to the current outstanding allegations against Kavanaugh.

President Trump told reporters that he would defer to Senate Republicans on whether to pursue an FBI investigation prior to the confirmation vote. Should Republican leadership ask for an FBI probe, it will be up to the president to order the FBI to carry out the investigation.

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