Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he would vote yes on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation “unless something big were to change,” CNN reports.
Flake’s support for Kavanaugh was thrown into question last month after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford went public with her accusations of sexual assault against the nominee. Ford claims Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a small party when the two were in high school, but Kavanaugh denies the claims.
“If they push forward without any attempt with hearing what she’s had to say, I’m not comfortable voting yes,” Flake said at the time, according to Politico.
Flake then pushed for a supplemental FBI background check last Friday, appeasing Democrats and Kavanaugh opponents after an emotional hearing the day before.
The decision to involve the FBI again distanced Flake from his Republican colleagues. But after the FBI released its report late Wednesday, after less than a week of investigating, Flake said it had found “no additional corroborating information” against Kavanaugh.
On Friday, Flake voted in favor of a procedural vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation and reiterated support for the president’s nominee. Kavanaugh’s confirmation is expected to be put to a final vote Saturday.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), another undecided vote, voted to pass the procedural vote Friday, but said she’d announce her final position later in the afternoon.
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV), up for reelection in a deeply Republican state, was the only Democrat to vote in favor of Friday’s procedural vote, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was the only Republican to break with her party entirely, voting against Kavanaugh.
“I believe [Kavanaugh] is a good man,” Murkowski said Friday. “It just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time.”