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

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

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

White House spokesman Raj Shah rebuffed Democrats' complaints.

"Bravery is contagious", "Stop Kavanaugh,", "Kavanaugh has to go", and "We don't want rapists in court", were the most recurring slogans during the march.

They said 302 people were detained in total, with comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski reportedly among those arrested.

Local media said only four senators holding key swing votes were still undecided.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. If Republican lawmakers clear that hurdle, the Senate can then advance to a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

But crucially, two key Republican senators who are yet to say how they will vote - Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME - made positive comments about the probe, which was taken by some to be a sign that they were leaning towards a "yes". Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, deflected, saying, "This is not a comprehensive FBI investigation on which we can draw conclusions".

Ms Collins said the FBI investigation appeared to be thorough. Jeff Flake, one of three Republicans and perhaps one wavering Democrat who will determine whether the judge accused of sexual misconduct will become a justice.

Details of the report - of which just a single copy exists at the Capitol - remain out of public view, locked in a room with access granted only to the 100 senators and fewer than a dozen staffers.

While the comments by Mr Flake and Ms Collins were positive, neither explicitly announced support for Mr Kavanaugh.

Senators have come out and said the FBI's report provides no new evidence against Kavanaugh and that none of the allegations could be corroborated by eye-witnesses.

Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the accusations.

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Senate Judiciary staff will brief Republican members at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), a source told Reuters, adding there were "no bombshells" in the document.

Kavanaugh sharply attacked Democratic senators, calling himself the victim of "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" fuelled by anger on the left at Trump's 2016 election win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, his conservative judicial record and revenge on behalf of Clinton and her husband Bill.

Prof Blasey Ford testified last week at a dramatic Judiciary Committee hearing that when she was 15, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth after she screamed. "That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me", Kavanaugh wrote in the Journal.

"At times, my testimony - both in my opening statement and in response to questions - reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused, without corroboration, of disgusting conduct completely contrary to my record and character", the judge wrote.

"Candidly, what we reviewed today in a very limited time. looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the White House, I don't know", said Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But 84 per cent of Republicans said Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

The Palm Beach Post reported that Stevens, speaking in Florida, said that he initially supported Kavanaugh's nomination and changed his mind.

Almost 8 in 10 Republicans said they approve of how Trump has handled the allegations in the new poll, which was conducted before Trump mocked Ford at Tuesday night's rally.

On the hot seat, some senators have been using police escorts in recent days to shield them from protesters and the media.

If all the Democrats oppose Kavanaugh, Trump can not afford to lose the support of more than one Republican for his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote. If so, that could be enough for a Trump victory. "It's been sent to the Senate, no White House editing".

Protesters occupy the Senate Hart building during a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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