The United States Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 to advance Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, despite allegations of sexual assault against him, on Friday. The committee had on Thursday heard testimonies from Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr Christine Blasey Ford. So far, three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Republican Senator Jeff Flake called for a one-week delay in the full Senate vote so that the Federal Bureau of Investigation can conduct a probe. Flake, who had said earlier in the day that he would vote for Kavanaugh, was confronted by an angry protestor in the elevator of the Senate building on Capitol Hill on Friday.
Republicans hold an 11-10 majority in the committee. Now that the committee has voted for Kavanaugh, the decision will pass on to the US Senate, where the Republicans hold a 51-49 majority.
Ford, in her testimony, said the incident took place when both of them were high school students in Maryland. She alleged that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her, during which he put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming in a way she feared he would accidentally kill her.
Kavanaugh denied her charges during his testimony and claimed they were part of a smear campaign by the opposition party, Democrats, against his nomination. He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he will not be intimidated into withdrawing from the nomination process.