GOP Senators Await FBI Report In Anxiety-Filled Capitol

United States President Donald J. Trump speaks with members of the media prior to boarding Marine One for his departure from the White House

Senators will get their first look Thursday at the FBI's background investigation on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with a tense series of votes looming and likely to play out into the weekend.

McConnell filed a petition for a cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before a Senate confirmation vote.

The Senate is expected to begin a key procedural vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Friday.

Amid complaints that some lawmakers were being confronted outside their homes, Mr. McConnell claimed on the Senate floor that the protesters were "part of the organized effort" to derail Mr. Kavanaugh's nomination.

Mr Flake - who helped spur the FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh - told NBC's Today show: "There's no time and no place for remarks like that".

Separately, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME told reporters, "The president's comments were just plain wrong", and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they were "wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable".

In separate interviews, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - all considered swing votes on Kavanaugh - took issue with comments the president made the night before at a political rally in MS that drew laughs from his supporters.

Senator Susan Collins, another of the trio of senators yet to come out in support of the conservative jurist, said Trump's comments "were just plain wrong".

The FBI is conducting a supplemental background investigation into the nominee after he and Ford testified Thursday before the Judiciary Committee about her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

Imitating Ford's testimony, Trump, who was himself accused during the 2016 presidential race of sexual misconduct with numerous women, said: "What neighbourhood was it in?"

"Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory, and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to questioners", the letter goes on.

"I'm the first person to say I want to hear from Dr Ford".

Disquiet about the President's intervention was not limited to those Republican senators who are undecided about Kavanaugh.

"You can't take it out on other people, the president's insensitive remarks, " he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump's insults of Ford marked a "new low".

President Donald Trump has defended his nominee and criticized the way the nomination has proceeded. They are determined to seat him and empower a right-wing majority, no matter what he may have done to Christine Blasey Ford or any other woman - and no matter how many falsehoods he uttered in his Senate testimony. But I had one beer.

"The Constitution tasks the Senate, not the media or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with providing advice and consent for Supreme Court nominees", he said, calling it "disappointing" that Ms. Blasey Ford showed documents to The Washington Post but has refused to provide them to lawmakers.

Mr Kavanaugh denies all allegations.

Ali Campbell, the guy Kavanaugh thought he assaulted.

The FBI has finished an interview with Chris Garrett, a high school friend of Kavanaugh.

The FBI report is confidential, and senators will be allowed to read it in a special secure room in the Capitol. Judge, Smyth and Keyser say they don't recall the incident described by Ford.

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