United States President Donald Trump on Friday night ordered an inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. However, Trump said the investigation “must be limited in scope” and “completed in less than one week”, reported The Guardian.
The FBI will reopen its background check on Kavanaugh, meaning officials may speak to old as well as new witnesses, reported BBC. So far, three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault and misconduct.
Later, the president suggested in a tweet that it was only a matter of time before Kavanaugh was appointed to the US Supreme Court.
The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted 11-10 to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination. However, Republican Senator Jeff Flake called for a one-week delay in the full Senate vote so that the FBI could conduct an inquiry. 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, something that is viewed as many as the reason he asked for the inquiry. After Flake’s insistence, the judiciary committee said it was formally requesting the Trump administration to instruct the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation.
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. On Thursday, the committee heard testimonies from Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Dr Christine Blasey Ford.
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.