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by Daveda Gruber:

Friday afternoon the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Judge Brett Kavanaugh in a party-line vote. This sends his Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate.

The committee voted 11-10 to recommend Kavanaugh, with previously undecided GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, supporting him.

The support support came with a last-minute stipulation.

Flake said he’d only be “comfortable” moving on the Senate floor if the FBI investigates further. Flake did say an FBI investigation should not last more than one week.

Lisa Murkowsk, R-AK. agreed with Flake after the fact. In order to get enough votes, Republicans cannot lose both Flake and Murkowski. They need 51 votes.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, told reporters. “Somebody’s got to explain this to Trump. I guess that will be my job.”

Right after the vote, President Trump said, “I’m going to rely on all of the people, including [Sen. Chuck] Grassley, who is doing a very good job. That will be a decision that they are going to make and I suspect they will be making some decision soon.”

The last decision on the timetable for a vote will be up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The administration has authority over any investigation.

The Senate had been expected to begin a full debate over the weekend. A final vote had been tentatively set for Tuesday.

Flake had given a major boost to Kavanaugh with a Friday-morning announcement that he would support him.

Flake said, “I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty.”

He came under extreme pressure, with protesters accosting him and Democrats making deals with him on the sidelines to reconsider.

If Flake had remained a “yes,” there would have been 48 pledged Republicans, with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska.

There is remaining wild card. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., has not announced his stance, but is expected to support the nominee.

It looks like Republicans do not have the Senate votes. Mitch McConnell will have to tell President trump that. Trump would have to call for a short FBI investigation to secure enough votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV. has said that Flake did the right thing and that he would be a yes vote if the FBI investigation moved forward.

If the FBI investigates quickly and finds favorably for Kavanaugh more Democrat moderates may vote YES on confirming Kavanaugh.

Just in: Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend, will testify if subpoenaed but wants a private venue.

On the other side, if more allegations come into this whole scenario, it could be worse for Kavanaugh.


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