US President Donald Trump has relented to intense pressure, including from moderate Republicans, and ordered a one-week FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Mr Trump addressed the announcement on Twitter, appearing confident Mr Kavanaugh will be cleared.
“Just started, tonight, our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.
“He will someday be recognized as a truly great Justice of The United States Supreme Court!”
Republican Senator Jeff Flake was the key figure in securing the investigation, approving Kavanaugh as a nominee on the condition that the Judiciary Committee request an FBI probe.
Just hours before Mr Flake made his decision, he was confronted by two protestors who said Mr Flake’s actions told women in America they should keep sexual assault claims to themselves.
Mr Trump had previously denied requests by the Democrats to launch an FBI investigation into Mr Kavanaugh.
Just a few days ago Mr Trump lauded Mr Kavanaugh’s testimony on Twitter.
“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” he said on Twitter.
“His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting.”
“Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”