Ka­vanaugh to face FBI probe as Trump bows to pres­sure

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - W RLD - —AP

Wash­ing­ton: Re­vers­ing course, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump bowed to Democrats’ de­mands Fri­day for a deeper FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh af­ter Repub­li­can Sen. Jeff Flake balked at vot­ing for con­fir­ma­tion with­out it — a sud­den turn that left Se­nate approval newly un­cer­tain amid al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault.

Ka­vanaugh’s nom­i­na­tion had ap­peared back on track ear­lier Fri­day when he cleared a key hur­dle at the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. But that ad­vance came with an as­ter­isk. Flake in­di­cated he would take the next steps — lead­ing to full Se­nate approval — only af­ter the fur­ther back­ground probe, and there were sug­ges­tions that other mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans might join his re­volt.

The abrupt de­vel­op­ments gave sen­a­tors, the White House and mil­lions of Amer­i­cans fol­low­ing the drama at home hardly a chance to catch their breath af­ter Thurs­day’s emo­tional Se­nate hear­ing fea­tur­ing Ka­vanaugh an­grily de­fend­ing him­self and ac­cuser Chris­tine Blasey Ford de­ter­minedly in­sist­ing he as­saulted her when they were teens.

Emo­tions were still run­ning high Fri­day, and pro­test­ers con­fronted sen­a­tors in the halls.

“The coun­try is be­ing

ripped

Flake.

Af­ter he took his stance, Repub­li­can lead­ers had lit­tle choice but to slow their rush to con­firm Ka­vanaugh, whom they had hoped to have in place shortly af­ter the new court term be­gins Mon­day.

Trump qui­etly fol­lowed suit, though he had vig­or­ously re­sisted ask­ing the FBI to probe the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct by Ka­vanaugh, now be­ing raised by three women. One day ear­lier, he had blis­tered the Se­nate process as “a to­tal sham,” ac­cused Democrats of a con­spir­acy of ob­struc­tion and de­clared on Twit­ter, “The Se­nate must vote!”

The new time­line puts Trump’s nom­i­nee in fur­ther peril and pushes the po­lit­i­cally risky vote for sen­a­tors closer to the Novem­ber con­gres­sional elec­tions. It also means that any cases the Supreme Court hears be­fore a ninth jus­tice is in place will be de­cided by just eight, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of tie votes.

apart

here,”

said

Don­ald Trump an­swers a ques­tion about Brett Ka­vanaugh dur­ing a meet­ing with Chilean Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era in the White House in Wash­ing­ton

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