Flake had released a statement that morning announcing that he would vote in favor of moving Kavanaugh's nomination out of committee and onto the Senate floor. Democrats pointed to the lack of an impartial investigation and the committee's refusal to call witnesses who might be able to back up her claim, or to seek testimony from the two other women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. But that advance came with an asterisk.
With the Republicans holding a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, that placed pressure on Trump to order the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.
"The US Senate as an institution-we're coming apart at the seams", the Arizona senator said.
After he took his stance, Republican leaders had little choice but to slow their rush to confirm Kavanaugh, whom they had hoped to have in place shortly after the new court term begins on Monday.
According to CNN, the developments mean the full Senate will not vote early next week, as expected. And at that time, Flake could vote "yes".
Trump, who had previously rebuffed Democratic demands for an FBI probe, granted the request, ordering the "supplemental investigation" to be "limited in scope and completed in less than one week". But there was no specific direction as to what that might include.
Mr Kavanaugh denies both Dr Ford's and Ms Ramirez's allegations.
But the scope of what will be probed is also going to be informed by the substance of the allegations and what Kavanaugh and his accusers have said publicly, the former agent said.
Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of the drama and uncertainty.
Following Ford's testimony, Kavanaugh vigorously denied the allegations before the committee and accused Democrats of launching a last-minute attempt to derail his nomination. Jeff Flake in a Capitol elevator Friday said she hopes other Republican senators listen to the stories of women who have been sexually assaulted. "I was demanding a connection, demanding that he look at us, demanding that he give us real answers", she said.
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American Bar Association seeks delay in nomination of Trump's Supreme Court pick
She said Kavanaugh held her down, put his hand over her mouth to silence her, and tried to remove her clothes. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time.
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The confrontation was captured by television cameras.
Investigators compile information about a nominee's past and provide findings to the agency that requested the background check; in this case, it's the White House.
The announcement came after members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve Kavanaugh's nomination to the top United States court.
"As far as I'm concerned this Congress has hit bottom and started to dig", the senator said.
Within moments of the eight-hour proceedings concluding, Trump tweeted his approval of Kavanaugh's performance and called on the Senate to move swiftly to a vote.
'Ford is political collateral, and they do not care, ' Mace said.
Flake's vote on final approval is not assured either.
She said she hopes Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "But they have a right to request it".
There will be considerable pressure on the White House to turn over the complete file as soon as possible.