Kavanaugh confirmation heads toward final Senate vote

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Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins - two Republican key votes who are undecided - returned to the SCIF several times Thursday to review the document. Joe Manchin crossed the floor to vote yes for Kavanaugh, amid claims he is trying to keep voters happy in his home state.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview Mr Kavanaugh himself or Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault in 1982.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled the vote as part of the process toward a final confirmation vote this weekend.

With their narrow margin in the Senate, Republicans can only afford to lose one vote if all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh. A source familiar with the lobbying efforts to confirm Kavanaugh told Fox News that the White House believes it has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

The FBI also did not interview Kavanaugh.

Hundreds of protesters against Mr Kavanaugh were arrested in Washington, DC, on Thursday, including comedian Amy Schumer.

In retrospect the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh may turn out to be a great turning point in USA constitutional law as he consummates a hard-core conservative majority likely to break cherished precedents and set a new path on issues ranging from reproductive rights to health care and the environment.

Trump said the protesters' "rage-fuelled resistance is starting to backfire at a level nobody has ever seen before".

He was referring to polling that shows some improvement for Republicans heading into the midterm election.

However, the debate seems to be coming to an end as the Senate plans to vote on Friday for Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected to be on Saturday.

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Local media said only four senators holding key swing votes were still undecided.

Ms Collins said the probe "appears to be very thorough".

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., merely said that the content of the 46-page report "raises more questions" and that it gives an "unacceptable understanding" of what actually happened.

Democrats have complained that the FBI's reopening of its Kavanaugh background check has been far too limited, leaving out contact with crucial potential witnesses.

They accused the White House of limiting the FBI's leeway.

The senator cited Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980s, in her statement, saying, "When I listened to Dr. Ford testify, I heard the voices of women I have known throughout my life who have similar stories of sexual assault and abuse".

The report, sent by the White House to the Senate Judiciary Committee last night, was denounced by Democrats as a whitewash that was too narrow in scope and ignored critical witnesses.

A hefty police presence added an air of anxiety, as did thousands of anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators.

Mr Trump, who on Tuesday scornfully mocked Ms Ford's Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Mr Kavanaugh's "great life can not be ruined by mean" and "despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!" Some said there were notes on interviews with nine people, though others said 10. "The materials are what they are, and it is now left to senators to reach their conclusions".

Kavanaugh's former schoolmate Dr Christine Blasey Ford pictured during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday.