President Trump has ordered the FBI to conduct a "supplemental investigation" to update Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's file, the president announced in a statement released by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders Friday afternoon.
The direction comes after crucial swing vote Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, called for an up to one-week delay in the Kavanaugh confirmation vote in order for the FBI to conduct an investigation. Other key senators soon backed him up. After GOP senators huddled on Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it was asking the White House for an FBI probe. That request was swiftly granted.
"I've ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh's file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week," the president's statement reads.
The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind.
On Thursday, after Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, offered their emotional, riveting testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday, Kavanaugh's confirmation seemed more likely than not. Ford insisted she was "100 percent" sure Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were both in high school, and Kavanaugh insisted he was completely innocent. Republicans voiced their support, and Democrats opposed the nominee.
Then, Flake threw a wrench in Republicans' plans.
On Friday morning, Flake issued a statement Friday morning saying he would support Kavanaugh's confirmation, emboldening Republicans. But then, Friday afternoon as the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote, Flake said he wanted to delay the Senate floor vote for up to a week so the FBI can investigate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, another key GOP vote who hasn't announced where she stands on Kavanaugh, also voiced support for Flake's proposal, as did Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia.
Kavanaugh advanced from the committee with an 11-8 vote, but if he lacks votes on the floor, Republican leadership won't want to push the vote through.