Lawyer: FBI has completed Mark Judge interview

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BOSTON The Republican senator who suddenly sits at the center of the explosive debate over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick was set to address New Hampshire voters today ahead of a possible run for president.

Asked about allegations of sexual assault in the 1980s levelled against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Mr Trump said it was troubling that people were found "automatically guilty" and had to prove their innocence.

She declined to say exactly when it ended or what Judge was asked.

A White House official told CNN that the White House has made it clear to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that agents are not limited in their expanded background search.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer outlined a series of requests on Tuesday that are at odds with McConnell's proposed plan, including that the report be made public.

Indiana's other U.S. Senator, Todd Young, last week kept his support behind Kavanaugh following the committee hearing. "The Senate will vote on Judge Kavanaugh here, on this floor, this week", McConnell told the chamber. "Even the American Bar Association, which has previously rated Judge Kavanaugh as "well qualified" has called for an FBI investigation, where we could learn more information and other potential witnesses could be interviewed", Donnelly said.

The FBI isn't pursuing a criminal investigation into Kavanaugh.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said each senator will get a copy of the FBI's report on its investigation.

McConnell's combative remarks about Democrats came as Trump and lawmakers await the FBI's reopened background check on the accusations against the 53-year-old jurist.

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Continuing after a brief, somber pause, she said, "I'm a victim of sexual assault".

Berchem knew both Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez, who said that 35 years ago Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis into her face in a party at a Yale dorm when both were freshmen. She said further that over a series of parties, she saw Kavanaugh "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s". Ford identified Judge as a witness to the alleged assault. The account, the details of which have been contested by those Ford says were at the party, has been held up by Democrats as credible.

Kavanaugh testified that while he enjoys drinking beer, and often did so in high school, he never drank to excess. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., about whether he had ever blacked out from drinking not by answering the question but by asking the senator if she had ever blacked out. In one notable exchange, he snapped at Sen. "And that has nothing to do with what he did when he was 15 or 18", Mr. Schumer said.

Charles "Chad" Ludington, who said he was a friend of Mr Kavanaugh's at Yale University and now teaches at North Carolina State University, called Mr Kavanaugh "a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker".

Kavanaugh was not arrested over the 1985 incident.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sought a week-long delay in a full Senate vote, said Tuesday that he is pushing the White House for "a fulsome investigation" of the allegations against Kavanaugh. Now they are criticizing him for getting mad.

While the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh are deeply troubling, there's unlikely to be the kind of clear evidence for these acts as there might be for accusations of perjury.

Democrats also bristled at Republican blame for delays in getting Judge Kavanaugh to the high court, saying that it was a Republican, Sen. There's also Senate procedure, which takes time.

The most senior Democrat on the Senate's Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, has sent a letter urging the White House to release the written directive sent by President Trump to the FBI launching the investigation.