U.S. Republican Senator Murkowski says has not decided final Kavanaugh vote

Saturday, 06 Oct, 2018

Susan Collins of ME crashed on Friday shortly after she announced she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that "We can salvage some decency here at the end", by rejecting Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

In a statement, David Laufman, McLean's attorney, denied the allegations, writing: "Any notion or claim that Ms. McLean pressured Leland Keyser to alter Ms. Keyser's account of what she recalled concerning the alleged incident between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is absolutely false". Collins is expected to announce her final decision in a speech on the Senate floor at 3 p.m., ET. It was a surprise to Grassley, who told reporters he didn't realize the Alaska Republican would vote no until she cast her vote.

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"Thank you @SenatorCollins for standing by your convictions and doing the right thing to confirm Judge Kavanaugh", Sanders wrote.

"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", she said.

While many senators say they were satisfied with the FBI probe, her lawyers say the investigation was insufficient. The showdown drew raucous demonstrators - largely anti-Kavanaugh - to the Capitol, where they raised tensions by repeatedly confronting lawmakers despite an intensified police presence. Friday's arrests capped off days of protests, including a large demonstration Thursday that led to over 300 arrests.

Flake's support in a preliminary, procedural vote keeps Kavanaugh on track for a fateful vote on his nomination. Manchin is up for re-election this November in West Virginia.

Sen. Flake confirmed to reporters Thursday that there was "no new corroborative information" in the Federal Bureau of Investigation report on sexual allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

As Manchin addressed the media after making his announcement, protesters shouted over him in anger: "Look at us". Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Plus, on top of those realities is this one: Collins and Manchin both voted for cloture.

In fact, last year, Collins voted yes in committee on Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, but then voted against her in the final vote.

Party leaders do not expect her to change to support Kavanaugh. A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby.

"It is up to each senator to decide what the Constitution's "advice and consent" duty means", Collins said.

Those two votes would put the vote count on Kavanaugh's confirmation at 49-49, meaning Republicans would need one more "yes" vote to put Kavanaugh on the Court.

"I think what Susan did today was rise to the occasion when the stakes were so high", said Sen.

When could Kavanaugh be seated on the Supreme Court? "And that is hard".

Fellow Republicans said they were surprised by her vote when it finally came down. Steve Daines, who will be at his daughter's wedding in Montana.

Murkowski's opposition to moving ahead wasn't enough to sink Kavanaugh.

If Friday wasn't the vote to confirm Kavanaugh, what was it?

Kavanaugh's confirmation hinges on the votes of some other key moderate senators including Sen. He is heading to NY for a congressional fundraiser Friday but planned to be back in Washington for the final vote.

In a speech on the Senate floor Saturday night, hours after the support of Collins and Manchin made it clear Kavanaugh was all but certain to be confirmed, Murkowski announced she will oppose the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

The vote occurred against a backdrop of smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides.

A week after a televised Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford transfixed the nation, the Capitol campus remained a stew of tension as the election-season cliff-hanger neared its conclusion.

Protesters surrounded Democratic Sen.

However, Democrats claimed the probe as an incomplete vetting constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of Trump's man. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, a group that opposes Trump's judicial nominees, said Kavanaugh would join the court "with a cloud over his head". Two other women also emerged and accused him of other incidents of sexual misconduct.

Their votes will likely hinge on what is in the FBI's report.

AP reporters Mary Clare Jalonick, Matthew Daly, Padmananda Rama, Ken Thomas and Catherine Lucey contributed.