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Committee spokesmen did not return a request for comment to elaborate on what specifically those allegations are.

A complicating factor is the White House, which was also not involved in Flake's deal.

In a statement released by the White House on Friday, Kavanaugh said he was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation throughout the selection process and participated in several background calls with the Senate. He decried the confirmation process as a "circus".

Asked about Keyser's statement, Ford could only shrug, "Leland has significant health challenges and I'm happy that she's focusing on herself". "However, as my client has already made clear, she does not know Judge Kavanaugh and has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford".

Maybe Ford was telling the truth, but she offered no substantial corroboration for her charge against Kavanaugh.

He later tweeted support for Kavanaugh, saying "Just started, tonight, our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh".

MAK: Yeah, both of them have had very stressful days over the last couple days as they testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Two other key Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said they backed the plan after they and other GOP senators met for an hour in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office in the Capitol.

'Possibly something happened to her, ' Round said. "I do know it's a fairly straightforward process in terms of talking to people, talking to associates, looking at any potential records that might exist".

At least three women have now accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while drunk.

Flake was persuaded as he watched Coons renew his call for an FBI investigation.

Kennedy said he asked Kavanaugh directly before the hearing if the accusations were true. It came with a stipulation: that a full vote in the Senate be delayed until the FBI can investigate the sexual assault allegations against him.

After Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) publicly announced his support for Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination this morning, the vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee appeared to be a foregone conclusion.

Other senators backed Senator Flake's request, including Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, as well as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has been viewed as a possible vote in favour of Kavanaugh.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of the drama and uncertainty. Regardless, Trump felt the need to weigh in on an investigation that either could embarrass him and Senate Republicans or help the president get the second Supreme Court justice of his administration.

A fourth person accusing Kavanaugh of misconduct sent an anonymous letter to Colorado Senator Cory Gardner detailing the claims.

Since the inquiry isn't a criminal investigation, the FBI won't be making use of a grand jury, according to another former FBI official.

"There were no winners in the hearing room", he said.

The FBI's findings will not necessarily become public. Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it's unnecessary.

There will be considerable pressure on the White House to turn over the complete file as soon as possible.