Senator Jeff Flake agreed to vote Brett Kavanaugh out of committee, but with the demand that the floor vote be delayed for one week for an FBI investigation.
September 28, 2018

After some high drama in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brett Kavanaugh's nomination moved out of the committee with a rapid-fire vote and a whimper.

Senator Jeff Flake was wavering and huddling with Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who was apparently imploring him to find a way clear to get to an FBI investigation. After a significant delay in committee procedure, everyone came back at which time Chairman Chuck Grassley agreed to let Flake speak.

Bottom line: Flake would agree to vote Kavanaugh out of committee with the caveat that there be a one-week delay in the floor vote for the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation.

After the vote, it was pointed out that Mitch McConnell holds all the cards as to when to schedule the votes on Kavanaugh. All indicators suggest they do not have the votes. On the other hand, no one heard Jeff Flake say he would vote against Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham (see above) is girding his loins to talk to Trump. Based on a just-concluded press opportunity with Trump, everyone is saying "Whatever people need to do they should do." Never mind that Trump himself has to instruct the FBI to reopen the investigation.

Bottom line: They don't have the votes right now.

UPDATE: Kasie Hunt reports that Senator Lisa Murkowski will stand with Jeff Flake, meaning they don't have the votes to even open debate.

UPDATE: MSNBC reports that White House has ordered the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background check.

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