I might have been too emotional at hearing, says Brett Kavanaugh

FBI report 'shows no Kavanaugh misconduct'

The reference to McCain was to that of the dramatic vote a year ago on repealing the Affordable Care Act, when the Arizona Republican provided the final "no" vote despite earlier voting to get to the measure.

Kavanaugh's road to the nation's highest court has been marred by delays and protests since his candidacy was announced by President Trump in July.

It is not a done deal, however. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said, "The resistance is located right here on Capitol Hill'" and urged his colleagues to "say no to mob rule" by voting to confirm Kavanaugh.

The vote is expected around 10:30 am (2.30am Saturday AEST).

The 51-49 vote is the next-to-last step in a tumultuous Supreme Court confirmation process.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview Kavanaugh himself or Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in 1982.

Within hours of the findings being made available on Capitol Hill, some leading Republican and White House figures declared that the probe had failed to find any information to corroborate the allegations.

Most Democrats opposed the nomination from the outset, but their objections sharpened when Christine Blasey Ford, now a college professor in California, and two other women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during the 1980s while he was a high school and college student.

Kavanaugh's nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside, left-wing opposition groups", Kavanaugh told the committee.

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Corker said nine of the pages were about Mark Judge, the Kavanaugh friend who Ford said also jumped on her while Kavanaugh assaulted her. Judge has said he doesn't recall the incident.

Mr Kavanaugh's column appeared aimed at winning over the three Republican senators who remain undecided.

Mr Kavanaugh denied the claim - and allegations that he drank to the point of memory loss at the time - in a confrontation with senators.

"I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences", he added, saying the country's top court "must never be viewed as a partisan institution". After critics blasted Kavanaugh's September 27 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee as overtly emotional and more, even Republican Justice John Paul Stevens admitted "there's merit to that criticism", the Palm Beach Post originally reported. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has said she'll vote no.

Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope".

Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before the Judiciary Committee was "so shocking" it makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

The report has not been released to the public.

Local media said only four senators holding key swing votes were still undecided. "There's nothing in it that we didn't already know".

The timing of the vote could be complicated by Republican Senator Steve Daines, whose office said yesterday he planned to attend his daughter's wedding in Montana tomorrow, making him unavailable to cast his vote.

"It's time to vote", said Republican Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley on Thursday.

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