Jeff Flake calls for ending 'destructive partisan tribalism' in New Hampshire

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Jeff Flake speaks with committee colleagues during a hearing in Washington on Sept. 28 2018 after requested a delay for a floor vote to allow for an FBI investigation

Flake's comments came as the White House insisted it's not "micromanaging" a one-week review of decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

The Republican senator who suddenly sits at the center of the explosive Supreme Court debate vowed Monday to ensure the FBI does "a real investigation" into President Donald Trump's nominee as he trekked across New England while exploring a possible run for president. Flake, along with Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowsi, are seen as key votes in the Kavanaugh confirmation process. "I think it's actually a good thing for Judge Kavanaugh".

Assuming that all the Democrats vote as a bloc, only two Republicans would have to cross the aisle to sink the confirmation, giving moderates like Sens. But he drew an immediate parallel to the Kavanaugh controversy when he referenced pushback he received when he called for his Senate colleagues to hear both Kavanaugh and Ford with an open mind. The Brett he knew, Ludington said, was a "frequent" and "heavy" drinker who often became "belligerent and aggressive" when inebriated. Feinstein did not mention the letter in any hearings with Kavanaugh, and its contents were later leaked to the press, leading Ford to reveal publicly her accusation.

Flake has spent the last few days broadening the possibility that he may reject Kavanaugh's nomination when the full Senate votes.

On the other hand, strategists have reportedly urged a light tread around Flake despite the frustration his sudden about-face caused on Friday.

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"We're friends because we have worked together, and we have worked together because the constitutional framework that created our government ingeniously makes governing hard and compromise inevitable", Flake said.

"It is surely a symptom of our disease that such a modest plea was met with rage from all sides", Flake said. "Whatever that means, according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority".

"So we've learned that if you confide in Senate Democrats on highly sensitive personal matters, no request for confidentiality will keep you from becoming a household name", McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The investigation is not an expansive criminal probe but an additional background check on Kavanaugh. But he also said Senate Republicans are determining the parameters of the investigation and "ultimately, they're making the judgment".

Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanuagh, claimed in a New Yorker article published Sunday, that he exposed himself to her at a college party although, The New Yorker acknowledges, she was initially "reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh's role in the alleged incident with certainty".

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