US Supreme Court nominee: 'I am independent, impartial'

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A pair of undeclared Republican senators accepted a confidential new Federal Bureau of Investigation report into sex-abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh Thursday as "thorough", bolstering GOP hopes for confirmation as the Senate plunged toward showdown votes on President Donald Trump's embattled Supreme Court nominee.

"My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate", Kavanaugh wrote.

All 100 senators, and a handful of Senate staff, will be able to read the FBI's new report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh once it's sent to Congress. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Inside, the Senate moved closer to a vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Also interviewed was Tim Gaudette, who, according to Judge Kavanaugh's calendars, hosted a party in July 1982 that Democrats say could have been the get-together where the assault happened, and Chris Garrett, a Kavanaugh friend who Ms. Blasey Ford says is the person who introduced her to Judge Kavanaugh. Ford alleged that while they were in high school, a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down at a party and attempted to remove her clothes, covering her mouth when she tried to scream.

The embattled nominee was criticized after his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the visible emotion he displayed as he testified under oath.

The clash pitted her word against his. Senate Republicans planned to meet on Thursday night to discuss the next steps on the nomination.

The group says Kavanaugh told "outright falsehoods".

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process", Kavanaugh added.

This background check is different, requested by a trio of senators who are undecided on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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The FBI was given a week to look into Dr Ford's allegation that Mr Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were teenagers decades ago.

"For goodness sake, this is the United States of America!"

Kavanaugh Is Guilty If You 'Feel It in Your Heart?!' Democratic Senator Richard Durbin asked Ford.

Her powerful account, along with Kavanaugh's angry rebuttal, has divided the country, rekindling the national conversation on sexual misconduct and the burden of proof in the #MeToo era.

Even though the report is not public, if there was a bombshell revelation in it about Kavanaugh, the Democrats would have said so.

Democrats lauded Ford's testimony as credible, fearless and, in the words of Senator Cory Booker, "nothing short of heroic". Senator Gillibrand explained, "First of all he shouldn't be on the Supreme Court because of his record, and what he believes". They skirted reporters for much of the day, sometimes shielded by Capitol Police. "We owe it to the American people to underscore that you're innocent until proven guilty". Notably absent from the witness list are Kavanaugh and Ford. Cameras from news photographers clicked as she entered the room and took her seat, smiling nervously.

"Mark came over and jumped on the bed twice while Brett was on top of me", she testified last week. I'm in awe of their courage, too. "I've had demonstrators in my office for two weeks now - both for Kavanaugh and against Kavanaugh". But Republican women, like GOP men, are overwhelmingly sticking with the nominee.

Despite the limitations, senators could return to the room multiple times - and some did.

A handful of Republicans and Democrats have not decided whether to support Kavanaugh.

With Republicans clinging to a razor-thin 51-49 Senate majority and five senators - including three Republicans - still publicly undeclared, the conservative jurist's prospects of Senate confirmation could hinge largely on the file's contents.

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