Trump orders FBI probe of Kavanaugh as Senate delays final vote

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The decision is a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had been vetted.

"We ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important", Flake said.

"If Republicans do not get this vote taken and Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye, " conservative icon Rush Limbaugh boomed from his radio studio this week, a message that Trump echoed on Twitter and Republican strategists repeated privately on Friday. Donnelly, like many other Democratic lawmakers, called for the FBI to investigate the allegations.

The Senate will vote on a motion to proceed, one of the steps leading to a full chamber vote on the nomination itself.

A green light for Kavanaugh from the committee is a step for the Republicans toward confirming him as Supreme Court judge, despite his dubious history, the vehement opposition of Democrats and the dark cloud of suspicion that hangs over him.

"As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week".

"Throughout this process, I've been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I've done a number of "background" calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the senators and their counsel asked me".

"No, I haven't talked with anyone from that party", she said.

The key player in a day of dramatic and unexpected developments was Senator Jeff Flake, a moderate Republican retiring from the Senate in January who provided the decisive vote to approve Kavanaugh's nomination in the Judiciary Committee and send the matter to the full Senate.

Ford welcomed the FBI investigation, one of her lawyers said. "The Senate must vote!" Jeff Flake casting the deciding vote as expected. The vote to do so was approved, with all Republicans voting aye and eight votes, all Democrats, voting no.

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The FBI has been asked to complete its investigation in a week, meaning the confirmation of Kavanaugh, 53, as Supreme Court judge would be delayed by at least a week.

The letter marked a last-minute hitch in Kavanaugh's nomination and came at the end of a tumultuous day in which Ford, in an emotional appearance before the committee, accused Kavanaugh of attacking her at a Maryland house party in 1982.

Ford, a Palo Alto University clinical psychologist and registered Democrat with a record of left-wing activism, accused the judge earlier this month of trying to rape her as a drunken teenager at a house party in the early 1980s.

Then he headed from his office to a Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, where a vote was planned on the nominee.

Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski says the issue goes beyond whether Kavanaugh should be on the court.

Democrats for days have been demanding an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, but Republicans had refused to seek one.

"I frankly thought that we were going to go in the anteroom and just have a conversation about how while we respect each other as senators and hope to remain friends, that this was a pretty bitter moment for both of us because each of us is on the other side of what ought to happen with Judge Kavanaugh", he added.

On Sept. 28, President said the supplemental investigation of Kavanaugh started.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of swing state Florida also said Thursday he would vote against Kavanaugh. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

She begged Flake to look her in the eye. "Shawn Moody is not running to be part of Washington, D.C. ME has two duly elected United States senators, and it is their decision to make".