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The U.S. Senate is poised to take a crucial vote Friday on whether to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court as key Republican senators remain undecided amid allegations of sexual misconduct and intense protests that have divided the nation.

"There is no question the Kavanaugh fight has provided a burst of energy to Republican voters at a critical time", said Brian Walsh, a Republican strategist and former staffer for the party's Senate campaign committee.

Mr Trump, who on Tuesday scornfully mocked Ms Ford's Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Mr Kavanaugh's "great life can not be ruined by mean" and "despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!"

The Senate is all set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation this Saturday, with no further delay. Some said there were notes on interviews with nine people, though others said 10.

Neither has said how she will vote.

Other women have also come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, including Deborah Ramirez, who told The New Yorker that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party.

An angry Judge Brett Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week: "This confirmation process has become a national disgrace".

But his Senate confirmation process has been roiled by the allegations from Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who faces a hard re-election race next month, cited concerns about his "past conduct" and said she felt his heated attacks on Democrats during last week's Judiciary Committee hearing raised questions about his "current temperament, honesty and impartiality".

Republicans countered that the investigative decisions were left to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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With a razor-thin majority in the upper chamber, Senate Republicans can afford to lose only one GOP vote if all Democrats vote against the nomination. Sen.

One person who evidently did not was Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

In his statement, Grassley said that "this investigation found no hint of misconduct and the same is true of the six prior FBI background investigations conducted during Judge Kavanaugh's 25 years of public service".

He noted that his subsequent rebuttal was "forceful and passionate".

The FBI inquiry began last week at the direction of the White House after Republican Sen.

The stepped-up police presence comes as senators - especially Republicans - have expressed unease over protesters who have confronted them at their Senate offices, restaurants, airports and even their homes. Both of these figures mark an increase from a poll taken ahead of their respective testimonies, but the jump is more significant for Ford: up from 32% who said they believed her, and 26% for Kavanaugh.

The testimony revealed his "deep distress at the unfairness of how this allegation has been handled", Kavanaugh said.

The Palm Beach Post reported that Stevens, speaking in Florida, said that he initially supported Kavanaugh's nomination and changed his mind.

Kavanaugh sharply attacked Democratic senators, calling himself the victim of "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" fuelled by anger on the left at Trump's 2016 election win over Democrat Hillary Clinton, his conservative judicial record and revenge on behalf of Clinton and her husband Bill.

White House spokesman Raj Shah defended the investigation to reporters Thursday morning, saying "of course we were and of course we have been" seeking the truth in the matter.


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