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

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Congress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance 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 Murkowski The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare 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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban 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 Grassley'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Cruz warns GOP support for expanded background checks could help elect Warren president Lawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes 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.