Why Sens. Jeff Flake and Chris Coons held up Brett Kavanaugh’s vote

WATCH: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Testifies on Sexual Assault Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh

Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons gave their first interview Sunday night since convincing their Senate colleagues Friday to allow a limited FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

>> Read more trending news

Flake, an Arizona Republican, admitted during a "60 Minutes" interview  with Coons that the confrontation in the elevator with two activists and sexual assault survivors Friday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh did help persuade him to move to delay the vote by the full Senate.

Coons, a Democrat from Delaware and a friend of Flake's, was also pivotal in the delay and said Christine Blasey Ford's testimony Thursday was too compelling to ignore.

Flake agreed. “She was compelling, just extremely compelling,” but he also said he understood why Kavanaugh was so angry.

"To see his family behind him ... it was anger, but if I were unjustly accused, that's how I would feel as well," he told "60 Minutes'" Scott Pelley.

Coons questioned Kavanaugh's temperament during the interview and said his reaction to questions by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Amy Klobuchar about his drinking and behavior in high school "went over a line."

"He was clearly belligerent, aggressive, angry. And I thought there was a tough dynamic there. As I watched him, part of me thought, 'This is a man who believes that he did nothing wrong, and he's completely unjustly accused. And he's being railroaded. And he's furious about it,'" Coons said in the interview.

He also said that Kavanaugh’s partisan remarks bothered him, as well.

“I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp. But the statement in the beginning I thought was pretty raw, but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused," Flake said.

Flake is not running for re-election and admitted that if he was, he would not have pushed for the one-week investigation into Ford’s charges.

Pending the outcome of the FBI probe, the vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination could come by the end of next week, unless the investigation uncovers something that could cause a further delay.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Credit: Chip Somodevilla

icon to expand image

Credit: Chip Somodevilla

About the Author