This just in
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) announced Friday morning that he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Flake, who is not running for re-election and has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, had been seen as one of the few Republican lawmakers who might be willing to buck the president and disrupt Kavanaugh's path to confirmation.
In a statement, Flake said that he was "prepared to support Kavanaugh" since right after his routine confirmation hearings earlier this month, based on Kavanaugh's "view of the law and record as a judge." Of the sexual misconduct allegations that have emerged since then, Flake said that he had pushed for a hearing before any vote was held, and that hearing took place Thursday. "I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty," Flake said, but "what I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence."
The Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Flake is a member, will vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Friday morning. If the committee votes to advance his nomination to the full Senate, a full confirmation vote is expected within a few days. Read Flake's full statement below. Kimberly Alters