Attention focuses on key swing senators ahead of Kavanaugh vote


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Sen. Richard Blumenthal

The Republican effort to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared to get a boost Thursday when two potential swing votes, moderate Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), said the FBI’s investigation into decades-old sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh was thorough.

The White House and the GOP say the interviews do not corroborate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school, or Deborah Ramirez’s claim that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her in college.

Kavanaugh denies both allegations. Democrats and protesters called the investigation a “whitewash” because it only included “comprehensive” interviews of nine people.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-Minn.) said she would vote against Kavanaugh. That left Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) as the only Democrat considered a potential vote for Kavanaugh.

The Senate is scheduled to vote this morning on whether to move Kavanaugh’s nomination forward to a final vote on Saturday.

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