ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s one-week delay in a confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
She released a statement Friday afternoon:
"After a full day of testimony, I continued to express concerns to my colleagues about how this process has been handled by both sides of the aisle. In order to fully and fairly complete our due diligence, allowing the FBI up to one week to supplement its background investigation is appropriate. It is important to have a fair process for the sake of both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford, as well as the integrity of both the judicial branch and the Senate confirmation process."
Her support of the proposal means Majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell does not have enough guaranteed votes to confirm the justice, a day after hours of testimony from both Kavanaugh, and Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
CNN's Jake Tapper reports that Murkowski told a CNN reporter that she supports the delay and investigation, saying it should be limited in time and scope.
Thursday, Murkowski, Flake, and Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, all Republicans, joined West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin in an office after the hearing.
Flake said Friday morning that he’d support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but called for an FBI investigation in Friday’s Judiciary Committee meeting, before the committee voted to forward Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.
President Donald Trump Friday said he had no message for Sens. Murkowski and Collins, saying it was up to them to do what they think is right. "There's no message whatsoever. They have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves and I'm sure that's what they are," the president told reporters.
Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said in a statement Friday afternoon he supports a supplemental FBI investigation. Sullivan was not available for an interview Friday, while recovering from an emergency appendectomy.
In the statement, just after 3:00 p.m., Sullivan said he was still reviewing the full hearing from Thursday.
“I want Alaskans to know that while I was unable to watch the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in real-time yesterday, I am currently in the process of viewing it in its entirety. Out of respect for this process, Professor Ford, and Judge Kavanaugh, I will wait before offering further thoughts on this hearing.
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, any allegation of sexual assault needs be taken seriously. While the Senate Judiciary Committee and its staff have been investigating such allegations diligently, I respect and support the desire of my colleagues for additional information and the decision of the Senate Majority and President for a supplemental FBI investigation, which will hopefully allow this process to move forward in a timely and fair fashion.”