US Senate leans towards confirming Kavanaugh as Democrats denounce Federal Bureau of Investigation report

The group opposing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination gets ready to leave Portland on a charter bus Wednesday night with the goal of meeting with Sen. Susan Collins in Washington

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) announced that the Senate will proceeded with a preliminary vote on Kavanaugh's nomination on Friday.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has acknowledged he "might have been too emotional" when testifying about sexual misconduct allegations as he made a bid to win over wavering Republican senators on the eve of a crucial vote to advance his confirmation.

With a Senate vote poised for as early as this weekend, thousands of people who had traveled from across the United States came to protest and in some cases to meet with their representatives, hoping to prevent Kavanaugh from taking a place on the highest bench in the land.

Congressmen from across the aisle spent yesterday behind closed doors reviewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation report into claims of sexual misconduct against Mr Kavanaugh, as the fate of Donald Trump's choice for America's top court hung in the balance.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday defending his impartiality as a judge.

During last week's testimony, Kavanaugh angrily called out Democrats and argued with some senators.

Trump has stoked outrage over the Kavanaugh hearing on the campaign trail, enthusiastically using it as Exhibit A in why Republicans need to retain control of Congress.

Mr Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old Yale University graduate, had been cruising to confirmation to the Supreme Court before a string of allegations from his student days surfaced late in the process.

Most Democrats opposed Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh from the outset, but their objections sharpened when Christine Blasey Ford, now a college professor in California, and two other women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s when he was in high school and college.

Democrats on the committee had objected to Grassley's earlier statement that the investigation "found no hint of misconduct".

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"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been", he said.

Three Republican senators and one Democrat remain undecided.

Ford's lawyers called the investigation a "stain on the process" because the FBI "declined to interview" friends and others who could have backed her up.

Protesters occupy the Hart Senate office building during a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 4, 2018. "We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands", she said. Democrats must gain two Senate seats and 23 House seats to claim majorities in each chamber, enabling them to block Trump's agenda and investigate his administration. The report is confidential and has not been made public.

However, Dianne Feinstein, the most senior Democrat on the committee, criticised the scope of the probe, saying: "What I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what's not in it".

Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, wants to finish reading the report before he makes a decision, his spokesman told the Denver Post. He forcefully denied the allegations. U.S. President Donald Trump said protesters' resistance was backfiring. It will rotate throughout the rest of the day Thursday and potentially into Friday, with staff members simultaneously briefing senators.

Some activists unfurled banners saying they believed the woman who alleges Judge Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers.

It was not clear why the 10th was not interviewed. Said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "The senators who requested the supplemental background check got what they requested, and I am ready to vote".

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!"

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