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

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least 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 CollinsGOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World 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 MurkowskiNew momentum for Equal Rights Amendment Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World 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 McConnellBudowsky: Pelosi can break shutdown stalemate GOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown 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 GrassleyGrassley to hold drug pricing hearing Overnight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 Congress should stop tariff power grab, bring balance to US trade policy 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.