Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME says she will vote to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination in Friday's procedural vote.
A hitch arose on Thursday when Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, who supports Kavanaugh, said he would not be in D.C. on Saturday because his daughter is getting married in his home state. If Republican lawmakers clear that hurdle, the Senate can then advance to a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh's nomination. If the cloture vote does pass, the confirmation vote will likely be held on Saturday.
The Post's editorial board said of Kavanaugh: "Unfortunately - and unnecessarily; it didn't have to be this way - too many questions remain about his history for senators to responsibly vote 'yes, '" The Post said. Police arrested more than 300 people Thursday for "unlawfully demonstrating" as senators were taking turns looking at the Federal Bureau of Investigation report inside a secure room.
A reported nine people were interviewed in the FBI's five-day investigation. Flake said he saw no additional corroborating information against Kavanaugh, although he was "still reading" it.
"It's time to vote", said Republican Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley on Thursday.
McConnell made the short comment Friday to reporters as he walked to the Senate floor as the chamber opened.
Mr Trump, who on Tuesday scornfully mocked Ms Ford's Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Mr Kavanaugh's "great life can not be ruined by mean" and "despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!"
North Dakota station and CNN affiliate WDAY first reported the decision by releasing an exclusive video clip of an interview with the senator where she says, "I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh". He appeared to lobby undecided senators by casting two women who confronted Sen. He denied the accusations and the FBI finished an investigation on the allegations.
A former Collins staffer said the Senator will absolutely vote on her own convictions on Kavanaugh, and will not be swayed by the protestors or the anger, one way or the other.
Kavanaugh, who now sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and previously worked for the independent counsel's office during the investigation of President Bill Clinton, described opposition to his nomination as "revenge on behalf of the Clintons". If confirmed, he would deepen conservative control of the court.
Most Democrats opposed the nomination from the outset, but their objections sharpened when Christine Blasey Ford, now a college professor in California, and two other women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during the 1980s while he was a high school and college student.
But 10 staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee will have access to the report in hard copy so they can brief senators who have not have time to read it for themselves.
The 53-year-old judge made what were in effect closing arguments by acknowledging that he became "very emotional" when forcefully denying the allegations at a Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
He wrote that his testimony "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused".
"I'm sick and exhausted of seeing women's experiences not be given weight", demonstrator Christine Zagrobelny, 29, a software engineer from New York City, told Reuters outside the Supreme Court.
Stevens, who was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford and who often sided with liberal justices on key rulings, said he initially thought Kavanaugh was qualified, but that "his performance at the hearings ultimately changed my mind".
The ruling Republicans exuded confidence that he would sail through the Congress.