UPDATE — 5:05 P.M. ET: The Associated Press reports that President Donald Trump has ordered a new FBI probe of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He says it must be "limited in scope" and last no longer than a week.
The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had already been vetted.
Kavanaugh says he's done "everything" the Senate has asked of him and "will continue to cooperate."
UPDATE — 4:00 P.M. ET: Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate agreed to delay a full Senate vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for one week, and to ask for the FBI to re-open its background check into Kavanaugh in order to investigate "current, credible" allegations of sexual assault by him.
It's unclear whether President Trump backed the decision to delay and ask for the new probe. When asked about the possiblity of the Senate delaying its vote on Kavanaugh, Trump deferred to Senate leadership, saying he would "let the Senate handle that."
However, it is the White House who would have to ask the FBI to investigate.
UPDATE — 3:15 p.m. ET: The Associated Press is reporting that Mark Judge, the high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the man identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as being in the room at the time of her alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh in the 1980s, is saying he will cooperate with any law enforcement agency that investigates "confidentially."
Judge is considered a key figure in the allegations against Kavanaugh. However, he was never called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Instead, he submitted a letter to the committee through his attorney denying Ford's claims and claiming he had nothing more to say on the matter.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, 11-10, to advance Judge Brett Kavanaugh's controversial nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate for a vote early Friday afternoon.
However, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), called on the Senate to delay the full floor vote by a period of no longer than one week in order for the FBI to re-open the background check into Kavanaugh and investigate the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him.
Democrats on the committee echoed Flake's call for a delay on a final vote. They also thanked Flake for pushing the motion in the name of the committee performing due dilligence.
Committee chairperson Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made clear that a decision on a delay of the floor vote was not in his control. That decision, according to Grassley, falls to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and President Trump.
The committee adjourned following the vote.
Senate Republicans do not yet have the votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That’s according to Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking member of Republican leadership.
Thune said that Republicans still have "a little work to do" to get enough support.
Whether Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court could hinge on the votes of two Republican senators: Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. It does not appear that President Donald Trump or the White House is reaching out to them to try and influence their decision.
Thune said while such calls may be well-intended, “it’s better to let people decide on their own up here.”
Republicans have set a committee vote for Friday afternoon to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.
- Christine Blasey Ford accuses Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault
- Judge Brett Kavanaugh denies Ford's allegations
- Some senators are unsure of how to vote
Just one day after emotional, passionate testimony from Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, Senate Republicans are pushing forward with a key vote on his Supreme Court nomination Friday.
Ford told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party back in 1982.
She testified that "… a drunken young Kavanaugh was the one who had pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothes and clapped a hand over her mouth as she tried to yell for help. A Kavanaugh friend stood by and they both laughed uproariously during the incident," reported the Associated Press.
"I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling," Ford told senators.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations during his testimony.
"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled by a pent-up anger about President Trump and 2016 election," said Kavanaugh.
Trump watched the lengthy hearing from Air Force Once and back at the White House and tweeted his support of the judge.
"Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!" said President Trump.
After the hearing, not a lot has changed. Republicans want a vote and Democrats want an investigation, such as U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
"The American people deserve to know the facts- that means a full FBI investigation of every allegation against Kavanaugh. For Republican leaders to call a vote w/o that investigation, just 24 hours after a heart-wrenching hearing, says everything about who they believe matters," said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
The allegations from Ford and other women have cast some doubt in the minds of Republican senators.
However, after the hearing, one on the fence Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, made up his mind.
"I plan to vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh," said Sen. Corker (R-TN).
The four to watch that could sink Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court are Republican U.S. senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.
They have been undecided so far and their votes will decide the fate of the nation's highest court.