FBI's Kavanaugh investigation was by the book - just like Democrats demanded

Brett Kavanaugh said the US Supreme Court

The report, sent by the White House to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the middle of the night, was denounced by Democrats as a whitewash that was too narrow in scope and ignored critical witnesses.

Under new rules approved a year ago, 50 votes are needed for victory in Friday's procedural vote.

Mr Kavanaugh's column appeared aimed at winning over the three Republican senators who remain undecided. The price of locking in a conservative Supreme Court majority for decades may be loosing control of Congress this November.

Some protesters, many dressed in black, crowded into the Hart Senate Office Building after rallying in front of the Supreme Court on a sunny, warm autumn day.

More than 300 people were arrested, including the comedian Amy Schumer, who is a second cousin of Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer, and model Emily Ratajkowski.

US Capitol Police kept demonstrators at bay by forming a protective barrier around lawmakers walking through corridors.

Those not interviewed in the reopened background investigation included Kavanaugh himself and Christine Blasey Ford, who ignited the furor by alleging he'd molested her in a locked room at a 1982 high school gathering. "So the facts do not support the allegations levied at Judge Kavanaugh's character".

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McConnell repeatedly vowed to hold a vote on the nomination this week and has said the results of the FBI investigation should not be a reason for delay, even as Senate Democrats have questioned the credibility of the investigation and called for more people to be interviewed as part of the probe.

Kavanaugh denies the allegations. Six of the witnesses involved Ford's claims, including an attorney for one of them, and four were related to Deborah Ramirez, who has asserted that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when both were Yale freshmen.

The letter also says Kavanaugh gave "intemperate, inflammatory" responses and was "discourteous" to senators. "We believe that all the Senate's questions have been addressed through this supplemental FBI investigation".

One of the senators hinted he was open to supporting Kavanaugh as party leaders set a pivotal preliminary vote for 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Democrats complained loudly about the process, saying it made it tough to evaluate the FBI's findings.

"The president, the White House are firmly behind Brett Kavanaugh", Shah said during an appearance Thursday morning on CNN.

"Democrats are willing to do anything and to hurt anyone to get their way, like they're doing with Judge Kavanaugh", he told cheering supporters in Johnson City, Tennessee, where Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen are embroiled in a toss-up race.

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Heitkamp has been viewed as a potential swing vote and one of the senators who could decide the fate of the nomination.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley issued a statement around midnight that listed the 10 people interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, although not all of them were named. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Meanwhile, multiple Republicans have said that the document contains no evidence against Kavanaugh.

Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, said it was "a very thorough investigation".

Tensions have been high at the Capitol with opponents of Kavanaugh, including survivors of sexual assault, confronting senators in the halls and holding vigil across the street at the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh admitted that he became "too emotional" and said things he shouldn't have.

West Virginia's Joe Manchin, the other undeclared Democrat, spent time looking at the report and said he would resume reading it Friday.

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