Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, walks out of his office on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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The Senate braced for a crucial initial vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh's tottering Supreme Court nomination after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set his polarized chamber on a schedule to decide an election-season battle that has consumed the nation.McConnell, R-Ky., cemented the process late Wednesday and announced that sometime during the evening, the FBI would deliver to an anxious Senate the potentially fateful report on claims that Kavanaugh sexually abused women. With Republicans clinging to a razor-thin 51-49 majority and five senators -- including three Republicans -- still vacillating, the conservative jurist's prospects of Senate confirmation remained murky and dependent, in part, on the file's contents, which are supposed to be kept secret.Washington has been awaiting completion of the investigation since last week, when Flake, Collins and Murkowski pressured a reluctant Trump and GOP leaders to order the FBI to renew its background check of the 53-year-old Kavanaugh.Democrats also demanded that the FBI privately brief the Senate about the investigation before the chamber votes. McConnell rejected that request in a letter Wednesday to Schumer, saying Democrats would use it to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation.
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