Updated on October 2 at 12:32 p.m. ET
As the Senate awaits the results of the FBI investigation into the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Jeff Flake, one of the lawmakers who spurred the inquiry, criticized the judge Tuesday for his recent appearance in the upper chamber.
Speaking with Jeffrey Rosen, the president of the National Constitution Center, and Democratic Senator Chris Coons at The Atlantic Festival on Tuesday morning, Flake called the judge’s interactions with lawmakers “sharp and partisan.”
“We can’t have that on the Court,” said the Arizona senator, who didn’t elaborate on which interactions he was referring to.
Flake’s “gentleman’s agreement” with Coons, from Delaware, led to the FBI reopening its investigation into Kavanaugh late last week. The bureau is examining the sexual-assault allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, who also testified on Thursday.
I caught up with Flake briefly as he left the event, and asked if this meant he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, even if the FBI cleared him by week’s end. He appeared rattled, and his handlers rushed him into the stairwell. “I didn’t say that …” he stammered. “I wasn’t referring to him.”