Countdown to Kavanaugh confirmation vote begins

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) – The Senate has taken its next step toward confirming controversial nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

A key procedural vote on cloture passed 51-49 Friday, starting the clock ticking on 30 hours of debate prior to a final vote, expected late Saturday.

Controversy remains over the latest FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Kavanaugh.

Overnight Republicans released a summary of the report, which was limited to a single physical copy and was not made public, stating “none of the allegations have been corroborated.”

Democrats want to see the instructions given to investigators by the White House, which limited the number of witnesses and lines of questioning. Kavanaugh and his two primary accusers were not interviewed.

“We believe it greatly constrained the investigation from the get-go,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Senator Richard Blumenthal agrees, saying “To put it bluntly, it smacks of a whitewash, even a cover up.”

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