American President Donald Trump is directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch an additional investigation into his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump acted at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The request followed reports of sexual wrongdoing by Kavanaugh.
Trump said in a statement that the investigation must be limited in nature and “completed in less than one week.”
The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that the FBI had already investigated Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the reports of sexual attack.
Earlier Friday, the Senate committee voted in support of the nomination of Kavanaugh. Now, the decision is left to the full Senate to confirm or reject Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the high court.
Eleven Senate Judiciary Committee members voted to support Kavanaugh’s nomination. All 11 are Republicans, the party of President Trump. The committee’s 10 Democrats said they did not support Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona asked Friday for the FBI to have a week to examine the accusations against the nominee.
Kavanaugh has been accused of sexually attacking at least one woman when they were both teenagers.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, told the committee about her memory of the assault.
Kavanaugh strongly denied the claims.
"I have never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not in college, not ever," Kavanaugh told the committee Thursday. "I have never done this to her or to anyone."
Hours earlier, Ford spoke at the public hearing. She told senators she was "100 percent" sure that Kavanaugh and a friend of his, Mark Judge, locked her in a bedroom during a party near Washington D.C. She said Kavanaugh forced himself on top of her, groped her, and covered her mouth when she shouted for help.
Kavanaugh told senators he attended no such party. He accused Democrats of attacking him and his nomination for political gain.
Kavanaugh also denied accusations of sexual wrongdoing from several other women who came forward in the past week. He noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no suggestion of sexual wrongdoing in any of its six investigations of him during his career.
All those investigations were carried out before Ford's accusations were made public.
Trump chose Kavanaugh in July to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Christine Blasey Ford is a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California.
Brett Kavanaugh is a federal judge in Washington, D.C. They both attended private high schools in the D.C. area in the 1980s.
I‘m Caty Weaver.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
VOA News reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
reversal - n. a change to an opposite state, condition, decision, etc.
grope - v. to touch (someone) in an unwanted and unexpected sexual way
intimidate - v. to make afraid
riveting - adj. very exciting or interesting
testimony - n. something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth
scream - v. to suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of pain, fear, surprise, etc.