Sen. Jeff Flake tries to force FBI investigation into sex allegations of Brett Kavanaugh

 

Women corner Senator Flake at an elevator in a plea for him to hear their concerns about confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh./USA TODAY

By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake sided with Senate Democrats Friday to try to force a one-week FBI investigation of the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Flake agreed to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate, but would not support a floor vote for Kavanaugh without allowing the investigation to happen.

The Arizona Republican had indicated earlier in the day his support for the judge, but pushed the nomination in a new direction after meeting privately at length with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, who is a close personal friend.

“This country is being ripped apart here,” Flake said. “I do think we can have a short pause and have the FBI investigate. … It would be short and limited in scope to the current allegations here.”

President Donald Trump signaled he was open to a delay. Senators should do “whatever they think is necessary” to get to a vote on Kavanaugh, Trump told reporters before meeting with President Sebastian Pinera of Chile.

The development added even more drama to a process in which Flake has reluctantly played a crucial role.

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