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Key Republicans sound positive notes after Kavanaugh report

October 4, 2018

They didn’t announce how they’d vote, but two of the three Republicans seen as key to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation praised the FBI’s latest background check and said they didn’t immediately seen any new information to back up claims of sexual misconduct.

Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who struck a deal last week to demand more time for the FBI to investigate the allegations, said the new report did not contain anything to corroborate the claims by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez of sexual assault and exposure by the judge at parties in the 1980s.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said she was going to delve into the report more, but said the FBI seems to have done the job right.

“It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews,” Ms. Collins said.

The third key Republican, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, told reporters she wanted more time to read the report.

The FBI report has become the linchpin in Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, with both sides hoping it would help clear up the he-said, she-said nature of the allegations against the nominee.

Republican leaders said the 46 pages of new information, gleaned from interviews with 10 people, fails to corroborate Ms. Blasey Ford’s stunning allegations.

Democratic leaders, briefed on the report, saw it differently.

They said suggested, without giving details, that there was material that made them concerned.

And they complained that the FBI probe didn’t cover witnesses who say they might have corroborated Ms. Blasey Ford’s account.

- Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.

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