Melania Trump calls Kavanaugh ‘highly qualified’

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"It's a wake-up call to why it's important to hold the Senate". Republicans narrowly control the Senate and have a somewhat larger majority in the House of Representatives.

Asked about the #MeToo movement and her husband's recent comments about its potential impact on men, first lady Melania Trump weighed in on Kavanaugh's controversial nomination before Saturday's vote.

Capping a venomous struggle that transfixed Americans when it veered into claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in the 1980s - claims he fiercely denied - the 53-year-old conservative's nomination was on track for afternoon approval.

The debate sparked smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

Christine Blasey Ford's legal team has released a statement from her friend Keith Koegler, who provided an account that appears to corroborate Ford's testimony accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview him. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing allegations of connections between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation tried to pursue him in court. "What she was trying to do was what she thought was the right thing to do as a citizen, which is to provide the information to the U.S. Senate so they could make the most informed decision possible". Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the only Democrat expected to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation. Sen.

Protesters occupy the Senate Hart building during a rally against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Thursday.

Even so, Collins said she hopes the ugly fight over Kavanaugh's confirmation will raise awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual assault.

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, however, was filmed dismissively waving a woman away at the elevator and saying that he'd talk with her 'when you grow up'. At one point in the hearing, Kavanaugh blamed a Clinton-revenge conspiracy for the accusations against him.

All but one Republican lined up behind him, arguing that a truncated FBI investigation turned up no corroborating witnesses and that Kavanaugh had sterling credentials for the court.

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Murkowski, on the other hand, announced earlier Friday that she did not intend to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation. That procedure lets a senator offset another's absence without affecting the outcome, and would allow Kavanaugh to win by the same two-vote margin he would have received had both lawmakers voted.

McConnell admitted that he was unsure whether he had the support when he filed the cloture motion, which the Senate approved Friday morning. In 1881, Justice Stanley Matthews prevailed in a vote of 24-23.

Kavanaugh will be sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday by Chief Justice John Roberts and the man he will replace, the Court's crucial swing vote, Anthony Kennedy.

After the vote, the president called Kavanaugh to congratulate him, the White House said in a statement.

The Senate vote-set to begin sometime after 3:30 pm (1930 GMT) -will bring an end to a raucous nomination process defined by harrowing testimony from a woman who says Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were teenagers - and his fiery rebuttal.

Announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia that they'll support the conservative jurist made Saturday's confirmation vote a formality, an anticlimactic finale to a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

"I go back and look to that, it is pretty high that a judge shall act at all times, not just sometimes when you're wearing your robe, but all times in a manner that promotes public confidence", Murkowski said.

In Egypt Saturday, during her first solo trip overseas, First Lady Melania Trump told reporters that she has told him to put his phone down and stop tweeting and that she doesn't always agree with the president's sentiments.'I don't always agree with what he tweets, and I tell him that, ' she told reporters. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks towards to the Senate chamber to listen to Sen. "We have a lot of work to do".