WASHINGTON (KSAZ) -- Even by D.C. standards, this was a day of high drama on Capitol Hill after Arizona Senator Jeff Flake asked for and President Donald Trump agreed to an FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Friday's action comes one day after hearing emotionally charged testimony from both Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, alleging sexual misconduct.
"This country is being ripped apart here and we've got to make sure we do due diligence," said Flake.
Flake is casting a critical vote in favor of Kavanaugh with the understanding he will not support the president's nominee in a full senate vote until the FBI further investigates recent allegations of sexual misconduct.
"And I just want to express my appreciation to Senator Flake for allowing this process to move forward, but there's some difference of opinion among us as to what exactly the FBI investigation would consist of," said Texas Senator John Cornyn.
Flake had a contentious confrontation in a Capitol elevator with a female protester, and minutes before the committee vote, Democrats pressed him to call for an FBI investigation.
"The American people deserve to have the facts followed up on it," said Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar.
Delaware Senator Chris Coons added, "There was a broad agreement that this committee has been too divided and too partisan in this process."
Flake says that a hold on a full senate vote should last no longer than a week and be limited in scope.
"Somebody's gotta explain this to Trump! So I guess that will be my job," said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
President Trump says he found Blasey Ford's testimony to be "very compelling," but added that he'd given no consideration to the idea of nominating someone else.