Asked on Friday whether he had considered looking for a new Supreme Court candidate, Trump told reporters: "Not even a little bit". Senator Jeff Flake, the controlling vote in the committee, negotiated a compromise. Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote if the Senate was evenly split.
That probe is supposed to be "limited in scope" and "completed in less than one week", the president said in a statement. But there was no specific direction as to what that might include.
Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations against him during last Thursday's committee hearing.
Ramirez was the second woman to bring forward allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford alleged that Kavanaugh and a friend held her down and attempted to rape her at a party in high school. On Friday, Smyth said through his lawyer that he was "happy" to cooperate with the investigation.
An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions about the investigation, including how many agents would be assigned and whether it could be completed in a week.
Other senators backed Flake's request, including Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, as well as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has been viewed as a possible vote for Kavanaugh.
Hatch, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made his request in a letter sent Saturday to FBI Director Christopher Wray. Though Flake didn't say that anything in particular influenced his decision, the dramatic elevator video has become emblematic of the outrage felt by many survivors of sexual assault. "Ms. Ford, there's no doubt in my mind there was some kind of trauma in her life". But there was no escape as cameras captured the live encounter. Jeff Flake urged his Republican colleagues to allow a one-week FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations. The committee vote was 11-10 along party lines.
After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate only if the Federal Bureau of Investigation were to investigate the allegations against the judge.
Attention quickly turned to a handful of undeclared senators. "We continue to request this opportunity as we have been doing for days".
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said he supported Flake's call for a further probe "so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote".
Two Republicans would need to defect, with all Democrats voting in opposition, in order to sink Kavanaugh in the full Senate vote.
Flake's vote on final approval is not assured either.
"Though Kavanaugh denied during his hearing that he had ever drank to the point of blacking out, several of his old Yale classmates have accused Kavanaugh of lying during the hearing, telling news outlets they recall him drinking heavily". She has no recollection of such a party, she said. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "But they have a right to request it".
Since the inquiry isn't a criminal investigation, the FBI won't be making use of a grand jury, according to another former FBI official. The White House will in turn provide that report to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republicans who support Kavanaugh said there was no corroborating evidence for Ford's allegation.