Nevertheless, Collins said, the FBI investigation requested by Flake and eventually ordered by the White House last week did not produce enough evidence to confirm whether the sexual misconduct allegations from three women against him were true.
And in a statement issued soon after Collins spoke, Manchin explained he was supporting Kavanaugh notwithstanding the "serious accusations" leveled against the judge and lingering questions about Kavanaugh's temperament.
"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court".
The announcements Friday by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia came after weeks of shocking accusations, hardball politics and Capitol protests.
The US Senate has pushed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court past a key procedural hurdle.
Flake - like virtually every other senator - said he found Ford credible when she testified that a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothes when both were in high school in suburban Maryland. "It's just not worth it".
"From the start of this process, I promised my constituents that I would look seriously at Judge Kavanaugh's record and cast my vote based on the facts I have before me and what is best for West Virginia".
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter he was "very proud" of the Senate's cloture vote.
Protesters chanted "shame" at Mr Manchin later when he talked to reporters outside his office. The lone holdout Senator, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, has indicated that she might vote no.
"This nominee was interviewing for a job in front of the American people, and he was belligerent, evasive and aggressive", she said. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life.
Kavanaugh's confirmation vote is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The dramatic conclusion: Collins is a Republican - and she, like almost every member of her party in the Senate, will approve Kavanaugh's appointment.
"It's turned our base on fire", declared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Kansas for a political rally, Trump said he was "very, very, very happy" about the vote and said Kavanaugh will be "a brilliant Supreme Court justice for many years".
Kavanaugh's confirmation leaves the Senate traumatized with Republicans and Democrats as estranged as at any time in recent memory, reflecting the cavernous divides in the country itself during a presidency that has ignited rare political passions. Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, delivered emotional testimony last week on allegations he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. "I think she will never recover from this", Trump said.
Still, she sent signals that Kavanaugh had cleared a hurdle by reassuring her that he believed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights is settled law.
"From the content and all capital letters of the text (the alleged witness) seemed to feel that there was a great deal at stake for Brett if Brett's fears of exposure ever became public", Charlton wrote in a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was later shared on October 4 with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). By the time Friday morning arrived, barricades had been erected around the Capitol building, but that did little to dissuade some determined demonstrators from hefting signs and raising their voices against Kavanaugh's bid to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.
"Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent", the campaign, hosted by Crowdpac, is titled. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.
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