September 18, 2018 / 4:55 PM / a month ago

Trump says FBI should not probe allegations against top court pick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the FBI should not investigate a California professor’s allegations of sexual assault against Trump’s pick for U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, adding that he wants his nominee confirmed quickly.

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court and allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh during a joint news conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Asked whether he would ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open its background check on Kavanaugh, Trump told reporters at the White House, “I don’t think the FBI really need to be involved because they don’t want to be involved. If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know, they say this is not really their thing.”

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee members had been scheduled to vote on Thursday on the federal judge’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but that changed after allegations from Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her while they were high school students.

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Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.

The panel’s Republican chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, said he would postpone the vote and would now hold a hearing with both Kavanaugh and his accuser on Monday.

Trump blamed Democrats for the delay weeks before the U.S. midterm congressional elections on Nov. 6, but he said there was enough time to get his pick confirmed before the elections.

“It’s a process, and we all feel - speaking for all of the Republicans - we feel that we want to go through this process and we want to give everybody a chance to say what they have to say. So we have time available. We will delay the process until it’s finished out. We’ve invited everybody,” he said.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Susan Heavey Editing by Doina Chiacu, Toni Reinhold

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