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McConnell, frustrated with delays, says Senate will vote on Kavanaugh "this week"

Trump addresses FBI's Kavanaugh probe
Trump says scope of FBI's investigation into Brett Kavanaugh is up to senators 06:27

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, taking to the Senate floor Monday afternoon, blasted Democrats for moving the "goal posts" on the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, and declared the Senate will be voting "this week" on his confirmation. 

"Let me make it very clear," McConnell stressed. "The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh's nomination is out of committee. We're considering it here on the floor. We'll be voting this week."

McConnell's comments come as the FBI, at the direction of President Trump and the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee, conducts a supplemental investigation to add to Kavanaugh's background file amid allegations of sexual misconduct. That review is allowed to delay the vote on Kavanaugh by up to seven days. 

CBS News has confirmed that the White House has authorized the FBI to expand the initial scope of the review to include interviews of anyone it deems necessary in order to vet those misconduct claims, and the president on Monday said he wants the FBI to interview "anybody" they want to, "within reason."

The delay was initially requested by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who said he would support Kavanaugh's confirmation before shocking the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday by calling for the process to be slowed so the FBI could investigate. 

Republicans grew frustrated with Democrats' calls for an FBI investigation, something the White House had to request on its own and which is not a criminal investigation, but rather a supplemental one to add to Kavanaugh's background file. Democrats had already delayed the committee vote on Kavanaugh by one week.

Republicans, who have been pushing for Kavanaugh to be confirmed as swiftly as possible, have expressed frustration with the delays in his confirmation process. Monday marked the first day of the Supreme Court's fall session, and Republicans had hoped to have a conservative jurist seated before then. McConnell has helped lead the charge to install conservative jurists on the court in the Trump era, from the Supreme Court down to the lower courts. 

"If you listen carefully, Mr. President, you can practically hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goal posts," McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday, comparing the allegations against Kavanaugh to the McCarthy era, when Sen. Joe McCarthy accused numerous Americans of being communists. 

"This institution has seen before episode somewhat like what we are now seeing from some of our colleagues across the aisle back in the McCarthy era. In fact in 1950, character assassination and uncorroborated allegations were being utilized in a very different debate in that era," McConnell said. 

— CBS News' John Nolen contributed to this report

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