WASHINGTON – Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he would not have requested a FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh if he were seeking re-election.
“No, not a chance,” Flake told CBS “60 Minutes” in a interview on Sunday evening.
He added: “There’s no value to reaching across the aisle, there’s not currency for that anymore, there’s no incentive.”
Flake made the request on Friday just minutes before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Kavanaugh. Flake told the panel he agreed with Democrats that the FBI should be allowed more time to vet the nominee.
Flake said he would vote Kavanaugh out of committee, which he did, but would not support the nomination on the floor unless the one-week delay was agreed to.
His request was seconded by red-state Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Both are up for re-election in November and are under considerable pressure to support Kavanaugh. Moderate GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) also backed the request.
Senate Republican leaders ultimately acquiesced.
Kavanaugh has adamantly denied allegations of sexual misconduct.
Flake, 55, announced his decision to retire in a floor speech last year. He has served in the Senate since 2013.
Flake is a frequent critic of President Donald Trump.
Earlier this year Flake gave a lengthy floor speech in which he pushed back against Trump’s attacks on the media.
In 2017, Flake wrote a book that is highly critical of Trump.