US Senate Could Hold Final Kavanaugh Vote Saturday

United States President Donald J. Trump speaks with members of the media prior to boarding Marine One for his departure from the White House

She said Mr Kavanaugh was drunk and had pinned her onto a bed, tried to remove her clothing and put his hand over her mouth when she screamed.

Although Kavanaugh has denied the allegations of three women, they proved so controversial that Trump directed the FBI to re-open a background investigation.

Kavanaugh is a Roman Catholic who has said religion is an important part of his life.

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday echoed the president's newly aggressive approach.

But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, calling Trump's remarks "reprehensible,"said the president owes Blasey Ford an immediate apology". The Senate Judiciary Committee expected to receive the report from the FBI Wednesday evening.

The developments come after the three Republican senators who could be key to whether Kavanaugh is confirmed - Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - assailed Trump for mocking Ford at a political rally in MS on Tuesday. Background checks do not traditionally contain investigators' conclusions about who they believe is credible.

The FBI is expected to soon provide senators with the results of its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and college.

He said on Wednesday: "I'm going to read whatever they've got". That procedural vote could happen as early as Friday morning and set up a final vote potentially Saturday.

Imitating Ford, he added, "But I had one beer - that's the only thing I remember". Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is undecided on Kavanaugh, trailing her Republican challenger Kevin Cramer by eight points.

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She is expected to emphasize the health and education of children as part of her "Be Best" platform that she launched in May. The first lady will promote the " Be Best " initiative which covers issues of children's well-being during her tour.

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Trump drew laughs from supporters at a rally Tuesday night with his rendition of how Ford answered questions at last week's hearing.

He was, she said, so drunk that he was unable to remove her clothing. She faces three candidates - Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee - in next month's special election for the remainder of the two-year term. Kavanaugh has said that accusation also is false.

An activist hangs a sign on her dog during a protest against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2018. The agency has also spoken to a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, who has claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale party when both were freshmen.

Senate judiciary committee Democrats sent a letter on Wednesday to Republican senator Charles Grassley, chair of the committee, calling for "bipartisan ground rules" for how the Federal Bureau of Investigation report can be discussed, expressing concern that there will be an effort to "publicly mischaracterise or selectively leak" its contents. For both the judge, and the nation, the stakes are high: If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the swing vote on a deeply divided court.

Senators will look over the new information beginning Thursday - though in keeping with Senate rules, there are no plans for a public release of the findings.

In parroting comments made during the investigation into Bill Clinton, Mr Graham said of the allegations against Mr Kavanaugh, that "this is what you get when you go through a trailer park with a $100 bill".

Agents spoke with Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh's who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted. The chairman explained that Ford and Kavanaugh testified under oath before the committee explaining to senators their knowledge of the alleged sexual assault. "It's worse for Judiciary Committee members, but I know Senator Collins is having a lot of trouble - she can hardly leave her home". "I respect her position very much", Trump said to reporters on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have agreed to a one-week FBI investigation of Ford's claims, along with those of others.

The group says Kavanaugh told "outright falsehoods".

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