So what just happened? Did Sen. Flake force a deal on starting an FBI investigation?
It was very vague just what was agreed to. There was actually no formal agreement. Indeed, there was a brief hot mic exchange between Sen. Grassley and Feinstein, trying to agree among themselves what was agreed to.
Listen to this critical hot mic exchange between Grassley and Feinstein re what was agreed to. pic.twitter.com/Ew7HjrAWc8
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 28, 2018
Flake says there should be a one week FBI investigation and no action on the floor of the Senate until the investigation ends. That’s what he wants and Grassley told Feinstein it’s a “gentlemen’s and women’s agreement.”
So did Flake get rolled? He voted in favor of moving the nomination out of committee because he has this understanding. But there’s nothing written, nothing formal. But remember. They need his vote. In theory, if every other Republican supports the nomination, Kavanaugh could still be confirmed in the floor vote. But really, they need his vote. And it seems like behind the scenes Collins and Murkowski are up in the air too. So even though he got no guarantees, Flake likely has the power to enforce the understanding.
Will he? Not clear.