Republicans hope fight over Brett Kavanaugh will help them in midterms

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption'Ford is a liar: Trump supporters unequivocal backing for Kavanaugh

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Ford is a liar: Trump supporters unequivocal backing for Kavanaugh

"There is no chance in the world that they're going to scare us out of doing our duty", he said. Both sides were mindful that their written communications might one day be subject to subpoena, particularly if Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in next month's midterm elections, the people said.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, one of five formerly undecided senators, said on Thursday she would vote against Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Sept. 27, 2018, in Washington.

Democrats not only oppose Kavanaugh; but they also remain deeply embittered by the experience that closed out the tenure of President Barack Obama, when McConnell refused to schedule a vote on Obama's nominee for a Supreme Court vacancy that Trump eventually got to fill.

The Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority, could vote as early as Saturday and all eyes are on three key Republican senators who could make or break the nomination - Flake, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. "Those fears have been realized".

NPR has confirmed six people whom the FBI interviewed as part of its investigation: Kavanaugh's high school friends P.J. Smyth, Mark Judge, Tim Gaudette and Chris Garrett; Ford's friend Leland Keyser; and a second Kavanaugh accuser, Deborah Ramirez. Kavanaugh strongly denies the allegations and says he has never sexually assaulted anyone.

Even before the probe had concluded, several people who claimed to have information that could be useful said they ended up mired in bureaucracy when they tried to get in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

But while Kavanaugh's confirmation process has caused a headache for Republican leadership in the Senate, the pain could be worth it if causes them to shore up their majority after November. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday about the results of the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, and during the interview, a citizen who was apparently there protesting interrupted the interview and got a snapped response from the Senator over her comment. "If we made it 100, it would still not be good enough for the Obstructionist Democrats".

"Most importantly, this great life can not be ruined by mean & despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations", Trump said.

"All those mentioned above, and more, could easily have been interviewed in the time allotted" but were not, read the letter, sent by attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich, which was cc'd to top senators from both parties.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been a swing vote on a panel now equally divided between four conservative and four liberal justices.

The allegations of sexual misconduct arose during the Senate confirmation process.

One person who evidently did not was Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

The confidential report is the product of a week-long investigation that included nine "comprehensive interviews" and outreach to 10 people, CNN has learned. It was not clear why the 10th was not interviewed. They also said Ford would have provided her medical and phone records. It also found that 34 percent of likely voters in the state were less likely to vote for her if she voted for Kavanaugh, versus 17 percent who said it would make it more likely that they voted for Heitkamp.

The letter to the Senate cites two laws governing bias and recusal, noting, "Judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair".

The three senators criticised Mr Trump after he mocked Prof Ford at a rally on Tuesday for not recalling some details of the alleged assault.

Collins told reporters that Trump's lampooning of Ford at a Tuesday night MS campaign rally was "just plain wrong." Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said on NBC's Today show that the remarks were "kind of appalling".

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