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Flake: No corroboration for Ford’s claims in FBI report

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report Profiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race MORE (Ariz.), a key swing Republican vote, said Thursday that a new FBI report on Brett Kavanaugh has failed to corroborate Christine Blasey Ford's allegation of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee.

Flake said there was nothing in the FBI’s supplementary background check to corroborate the claims from Ford, which threw Kavanaugh’s nomination into turmoil starting last month.

The Arizona Republican said he agrees with fellow GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (Maine) in viewing the FBI report as "thorough." He also said it failed to back up Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house gathering in 1982, when both were in high school.

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“I think Susan Collins was quoted saying it was very thorough but no new corroborative information came out of it. That’s accurate,” Flake told reporters after reviewing the FBI report in the secure compartmented information facility in the Capitol Visitor Center.

“I wanted this pause; we’ve had this pause. We’ve had the professionals, the FBI, determine — given the scope that we gave them, current credible allegations — to go and do their review, which they’ve done,” Flake said.

“Thus far we’ve seen no new credible corroboration, no new corroboration at all,” he said.

Collins separately told reporters that the FBI investigation "appears to be a very thorough investigation" and said she planned to go read the full report later. 

Flake, Collins and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Trump administration denies permit for controversial Pebble Mine Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (Alaska) are the three Republican senators who are undecided on Kavanaugh. 

Republicans control 51 seats and can afford only one defection and still confirm the nominee without any Democratic votes. 

Flake announced his support for Kavanaugh last week shortly before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send his nomination to the floor.

But after being confronted in a Senate elevator by two women who said they were victims of sexual assault, Flake struck a deal with Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to delay a floor vote for a week to give the FBI time to investigate the assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.) agreed to postpone the vote and allow a supplementary investigation after Collins and Murkowski sided with Flake over his request.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyColorado governor, spouse test positive for COVID-19 McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Iowa) announced Thursday morning that the FBI failed to corroborate Ford’s claims after interviewing 10 additional witnesses. Other Republicans have since agreed with that assessment.