US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote for Brett Kavanaugh on Friday (Oct. 5), after the conclusion of a hasty FBI investigation into his background that didn’t include an interview with the Supreme Court nominee nor the woman who has accused him of sexual assault when she was 15.
Just before 10pm in Washington today (Oct. 3), McConnell filed “cloture” on the question of Kavanaugh’s nomination. This means senators will vote Friday on whether to create a 30-hour window in which to hold a final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Traditionally, sixty senators need to vote in favor of the motion to trigger an actual vote for his nomination, but in recent years that threshold has been lowered to 51. If the cloture vote is a success, the Senate will hold a final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Oct. 6.
“It’s time to put this embarrassing spectacle behind us,” McConnell said.
The FBI wrapped up a six-day investigation into multiple allegations of misconduct against Kavanaugh tonight, and senators will have a chance to view it starting at 8am tomorrow. The investigation notably didn’t include interviews with Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who first came forward against Kavanaugh, or several others who have publicly disputed what he said during his Senate testimony on Sept. 27.
“An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony—cannot be called an investigation,” Ford’s attorneys said in a statement. “We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth.”
The White House called the investigation “the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history” and said it was “fully confident” Kavanaugh would be confirmed.
There will be “plenty of time” for senators to review the FBI report, McConnell said.
In a Sept. 21 speech to a conservative group, McConnell promised to “plow right through” any opposition to the DC appeals court judge, who has been renounced by the National Council of Churches and hundreds of law professors for his demeanor during his Senate testimony.
This article has been updated with comment from Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers. It has also been corrected to reflect that the cloture vote threshold has been lowered from 60 to 51 in recent years.