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Key Republican Senator Jeff Flake Says He Will Vote for Brett Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Committee voting on nomination Friday morning

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Seated in front are Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Seated in front are Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake announced Friday he will vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on the nomination Friday.

“What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence,” Flake said in a stement. “That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well.

“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” he continued.

Just after his announcement was made in a statement, two women confronted Flake in an elevator on his way to the Senate Judiciary hearing where the panel plans to vote.

One of the women said she had been raped. Both of them told Flake his vote would send this message to women: We don’t matter. 

Ahead of the Senate GOP meeting after Thursday’s testimony, Flake huddled with fellow Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.

“There’s talk, and we’re still talking. There’s no decisions made on anything, I can tell you that. There are still some concerns that people have, and we’re going to try and close the loop,” Manchin said.

A Manchin spokesman tweeted Thursday night that the West Virginia Democrat remained undecided on Kavanaugh’s nomination.  

 

Watch: Huge Crowds, Long Lines, Tight Security: What Capitol Hill Was Like on Ford, Kavanaugh Hearing Day

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John T. Bennett contributed to this story. 

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