Trump authorises expansion of Kavanaugh probe

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Trump and Senate Republicans on Friday announced they'd agreed to a limited, weeklong investigation in allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

"White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Senate set the scope and duration of the investigation and that the White House is letting the FBI agents do what they are trained to do".

Flake said over the weekend that he would vote for Kavanaugh unless the FBI finds something in its investigation.

"I guess I want to say, 'Thank you, ' " Walsh said.

While saying that youthful drinking should not condemn a person for life, Ludington said he was concerned about Kavanaugh's statements under oath before the Senate judiciary committee. "I liked beer. I still like beer", he said.

Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee made public late on Sunday a previously unreleased interview with Kavanaugh from September 26, before a public hearing with Ford, in which he denied all the allegations against him and committee Democrats declined to ask questions, saying they felt the FBI should investigate the allegations.

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Three days ago, the Republican senator single-handedly delayed Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings by insisting on an FBI investigation as a condition for his support.

"WE REQUEST YOUR PATIENCE" Judge's attorney, Barbara "Biz" Van Gelder, said in a statement: "Mr. Judge has been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation but his interview has not been completed". She declined to elaborate.

The FBI, he said, should do what they have to do to get to the answer.

Ms Ramirez's lawyer, John Clune, said agents want to interview her and she has agreed to cooperate.

"It's not like they're just now starting", Trump said. Noting that Ford did not remember in what house the incident allegedly occurred, or how she left the gatheringand got back home, Mitchell said "her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions".

During a White House press conference, Trump repeated his claims that Kavanaugh is a good man who's been treated "so viciously and so violently" by Democrats and suggested that the judge's sterling academic record makes the allegations against him "unfair".

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Swetnick, who is represented by Michael Avenatti, has alleged that Judge and Kavanaugh were present at a party in the early 1980s where, she says, she was gang-raped.

Deborah Ramirez spoke with the investigators and gave them the names of other witnesses, the source said. Kavanaugh has also denied her accusations as well as those of two other women, while accusing Democrats of a political "hit".

Mr Trump ordered the FBI to carry out an investigation, lasting up to a week, of the allegations against Mr Kavanaugh after Senate Republican leaders were pressed by moderate senators in Mr Trump's own party.

The prosecutor joined a private meeting with all Senate Republicans on Thursday after the hearing, where she told the senators that after the eight hours of testimony she heard, she would not have prosecuted Kavanaugh for assault, according to two officials familiar with her remarks.

Ludington said he came forward not because he believes Kavanaugh should be held accountable for everything he did as a young college student, but because he felt he lied about his behavior during the senate hearing.

Charles Ludington said he made a decision to speak out because he was "deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterisation by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale".

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FILE - Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a "joke". Judge "categorically" denies the allegations. The 55-year-old Republican, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year, has already declared his interest in a possible 2020 presidential bid - as a Republican or an independent - in part to stop Trump from winning a second term. Rachel Mitchell argued that that there were inconsistencies in Ford's narrative and said no one has corroborated Ford's account.