McConnell says Kavanaugh nomination moving forward as Trump approves FBI probe

 
The Kentucky Republican said there were "two very significant developments" on Kavanaugh's nomination on Friday: That it cleared the Judiciary Committee and that 51 GOP senators agreed to proceed to the nomination.
 
"This is a nomination that deserves to move forward, and that is precisely ... what is happening. I commend our colleagues on the committee for sending this impressive nominee here to the floor with a favorable recommendation. Now we will keep the process moving," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 
 
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The Senate agreed by a voice vote on Friday evening to proceed to Kavanaugh's nomination. But additional votes are on hold for up to a week as the FBI investigates sexual assault allegations that have thrown his nomination into limbo.
 
McConnell didn't mention the agreement to temporarily delay a vote on Kavanaugh on the Senate floor. Asked by reporters about the next steps on the nominee, McConnell said, "Well we're on the nomination and we're moving forward." 
 
 
But the Senate Republican leader on Friday evening highlighted GOP unity on proceeding to the nomination, saying that "100 percent of the Republican conference supports proceeding to the Kavanaugh nomination." 
 
The decision by Flake and others to call for an FBI investigation comes after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified during an emotional, closely watched hearing on Thursday before the Judiciary Committee.
 
McConnell said Friday that the allegations against Kavanaugh had been "thoroughly investigated." 
 
"The evidence that has been produced either fails, fails to corroborate these accusations or in fact supports Judge Kavanaugh's unequivocal denial," he said. 
 
Ford alleges that at a high school party in the early 1980s Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothing. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
 
Trump on Friday called Ford a "credible" witness and described her testimony on Thursday "credible," but also praised Kavanaugh's forceful defense of himself during the rollercoaster hearing.
 
In his statement released by the White House on Friday afternoon, Trump said he "ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file."
 
"As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump added.