Manchin on Kavanaugh decision: ‘I'm trying to put the human side to it’

West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBiden promises Democratic senators help in battleground states Senate leaders quash talk of rank-and-file COVID-19 deal OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' MORE (D) said in a new interview that he remains undecided about Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, but bashed the judge's confirmation process as a "circus."

The key swing vote Democrat told Al Jazeera that he is looking at Kavanaugh's adult life and time in the judiciary. He added that he would decide after viewing the FBI's supplemental background investigation report into the allegations of sexual assault against the judge whether the probe's scope was sufficient. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations leveled against him by three women.

"This has been horrible. It's another circus," Manchin said, referring to the confirmation process.


"I am looking at the gentleman as an adult from 22 to 53, 31 years of professional service. I am looking at him as a father," the senator added. "As a person in a community, how he interacts with his community. I am trying to put the human side to it."

Manchin, a red-state Democrat, is seen as a crucial vote to Republicans, who are hoping to secure one or two votes from such members of the Senate to avoid the possibility of Kavanaugh's nomination failing due to "no" votes from undecided Republicans.

Democrats hold 49 seats in the 100-member Senate, meaning that two Republicans would have to vote "no" to sink Kavanaugh's nomination even if every Democrats opposes him.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 MORE (R-Iowa) said early Thursday that a copy of the FBI report was delivered to the Senate, where Republicans and Democrats will have alternating, one-hour access to the classified document.

Some Democrats have questioned the limited access to the FBI's investigation ahead of a planned vote on Kavanaugh's full nomination within days.

“Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Top GOP senator calls for Biden to release list of possible Supreme Court picks MORE (D-Ill.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday. “That’s what we were told. And ... also that we would be given one hour for the Dems, one hour for the Republicans. Alternating."

“Bizarre, it doesn’t make any sense,” he added.

The White House issued a statement Thursday noting that it was "fully confident" Kavanaugh would be confirmed.