Hundreds protest outside of Supreme Court ahead of Kavanaugh vote

Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

Protesters occupy the Senate Hart building during a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington.

United States President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans gained confidence on Thursday that his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could win Senate confirmation after two wavering lawmakers responded positively to an Federal Bureau of Investigation report on accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge. If it passes, the Senate expects to vote on his final confirmation on Saturday.

It is not a done deal, however.

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate and changed Senate rules a year ago to end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.

Republicans expressed growing confidence that Kavanaugh would be confirmed by the Senate after a political battle that has riveted Americans weeks before November 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from the Republicans. It is on ending debate on the confirmation and moving to a formal and definitive confirmation vote.

But anger and frustration knew no party on the eve of expected voting. That same threshold of 50 also applies to the final confirmation vote.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a Senate vote for Friday at 10:30 a.m. that will force Arizona Sen.

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. Text the word "NEWS" to 22840.

The FBI has completed its limited, supplemental investigation into sexual misconduct claims about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, with USA senators set to review the FBI's summaries of interviews with witnesses today.

Prof Ford, a California academic, accused him of pinning her to a bed and groping her drunkenly at a 1982 house party when both were teenagers.

Three women have accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in separate incidents in the 1980s.

He said this was due to the effect those allegations have had on him and his family. His combative and at times downright angry performance drew criticism that Kavanaugh lacked the unbiased, judicious demeanor needed to sit on the high court.

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His column appeared aimed at winning over the three GOP senators who remain undecided. Kavanaugh denied the allegation in testimony following Ford's, painting himself as the victim of a "political hit".

Also quizzed was Leland Keyser, Ford's friend who she also said was present on the night of the alleged attack, but who has previously said in a sworn statement that she can not recall the party in question and has never met Kavanaugh. They're also questioning the impartiality of FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was two years behind Kavanaugh at Yale-as an undergraduate and at Yale Law School.

"This is now the 7th time the FBI has investigated Judge Kavanaugh", Trump said in a tweet.

Capitol Police have begun arresting about 300 protesters who staged a sit-in on the floor of a Senate office building's atrium. Some held signs calling Kavanaugh a liar and "unfit" to serve.

Kavanaugh is a Roman Catholic who has said religion is an important part of his life.

He said he based his view on a briefing from committee aides and added, "This investigation found no hint of misconduct".

Making things even stranger, Republicans and Democrats had to take turns reviewing the document, with one party's members getting an hour in the room, and the other getting the next hour, and so on.

As Senate Republicans moved quickly for a vote, Democrats and one key Republican, Jeff Flake, insisted that the FBI be allowed to reopen its background investigation of Kavanaugh.

"The "investigation" conducted over the past five days is a stain on the process, on the FBI and on our American ideal of justice", read the letter from attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich.

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

Mr Schumer called for the report to be made public as well as the directive the White House gave the FBI ordering the investigation.

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