Senators are sparring over an FBI report into assault claims against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
One copy of the report exists for all 100 senators to read.
However, Democrats said the report was incomplete and Republicans retorted it did not support the accusations.
Brett Kavanaugh, 53, has vehemently denied all allegations against him.
A confirmation vote is expected on October 6. The judge’s appointment would tilt the court in favor of conservatives.
The Supreme Court’s nine justices are appointed for life and have the final say on some of the most contentious issues in US public life, from abortion to gun control and voting laws.
Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate. Two Republican senators who had expressed reservations and could have swayed the vote have now indicated they found the report “thorough”.
However, Republicans have not said on whether they plan to support Judge Kavanaugh’s candidature.
They have accused Democrats of seeking to delay the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh in the hope they will make gains in the mid-term elections in November and stop his appointment altogether.
The FBI report contains summaries of interviews that the bureau has conducted. Nine people were reportedly interviewed, but not Brett Kavanaugh or the woman who first accused him of assault.
The report is in paper format only and no copies will be made. It is being held in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol building, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or “SKIF”.
Senators have been told not to reveal its contents, but some have already begun to describe its findings.
Senator Bob Corker said the FBI report is 46 pages long.
Democrats have raised concerns the investigation has been too narrow in scope, with key witnesses not interviewed.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on October 4, the lawyers for the first woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of assault, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, criticized investigators for not speaking with more than a dozen alleged witnesses whose names she provided.
In a statement after reading the FBI report, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said: “There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know”, and that the FBI “found no hint of misconduct”.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called it an “incomplete investigation”, adding that “the most notable part of this report is what’s not in it”.
Swing Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona – like other Republicans – said it contained “no additional corroborating information”.
Moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who also has not announced how she will vote, said it “appears very thorough”.