Throughout the day Thursday, senators traipsed down winding steps, past dozens of reporters and into a secure room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center.
They walked past Capitol Hill Police officers guarding room 217. Inside, on a rectangular conference table sat a 46-page FBI report on allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Once inside, senators scooted chairs up to that table to read the highly anticipated documents.
The FBI background investigation came as a compromise last week after highly charged testimony by Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh about whether he attacked Ford during their high school years. In exchange for a vote to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was granted his request for an FBI investigation into charges by Ford and one of Kavanaugh’s classmates at Yale University, Deborah Ramirez.
Democrats and Republicans alternated poring over the report in two-hour segments, a rotation that continued throughout the day.