The FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh could wrap up as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday, , citing Republican aides on Capitol Hill and another person familiar with the process.
Agents had interviewed at least four key people as of Tuesday, the sources said.
The White House had given the FBI a deadline of Friday to complete the probe and show senators their findings.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday the report “will be made available to each senator and only senators will be allowed to look at it.”
However, the Senate majority whip, John Cornyn of Texas, said he wants to see some kind of public statement if the reports themselves are not released, arguing the accusations have been made public.
He said “people are not going to be satisfied until some public statement about what the FBI supplemental background investigation showed is made.”
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Chairman, who has been leading the confirmation process, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he’s never seen an FBI report made public in his nearly four decades in the Senate and fears future investigations would be compromised. in future investigations if the report was made public. The committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also opposes releasing the report.
the FBI has interviewed three people whom Ford alleges were at a party where the alleged attack took place.
All three have stated they do not recall the gathering: Patrick J. Smyth, Mark Judge and Leland Keyser, a lifelong friend of Ford.
Lawyers for Smyth and Keyser have confirmed their clients gave the same testimony to FBI agents.
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Agents also have interviewed Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who has claimed, also without corroboration, that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.
Smyth’s lawyer Eric B. Bruce said in a statement, according to the Post, that his client “truthfully answered every question the FBI asked him and, consistent with the information he previously provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he indicated that he has no knowledge of the small party or gathering described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, nor does he have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
Tuesday morning, Judge’s lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, said her client had completed the interview with the FBI but did not offer details.
Keyser has said that while she believes Ford, she does not remember the gathering.
“Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” wrote attorney Howard Walsh, CNN reported.
“However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, lawyers for Ford said in a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray that they had received no response from anyone involved in the FBI probe. The lawyers said it is “inconceivable” that the bureau could conclude its investigation without interviewing either her, Kavanaugh or all of the other witnesses whose names she has provided.
Holes in story
that the prosecutor recruited by Republicans to question Ford last Thursday, Rachel Mitchell, has published a lengthy report detailing many holes in Ford’s testimony.
Mitchell has concluded the case is “even weaker” than a standard he said-she said, contending no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring the case based on the evidence presented.
Walsh also pointed out Ford refuses to give the committee the notes from the therapy session where she supposedly first mentioned the assault.
And said said she can’t remember if she showed the notes to the Washington Post.
He noted Mitchell found it significant that Ford claims to not remember how she got home from the party after the alleged assault occurred.
The detail is crucial, Mitchell argues, because she claimed it was near a country club that was about a 20-minute drive from her home.
That means it’s highly likely that someone picked her up and drove her home after the incident.
“The testimony of such a person would be indispensable because they could describe Ford’s physical and emotional state at the time,” Walsh points out.
“Is it at all believable that a 15-year-old girl could pull herself together and present herself as totally fine mere moments after running out of a house to escape two drunken rapists?” he asks.
“We must logically conclude that someone witnessed Ford in a similar state of shock, or that nobody did because the incident never occurred.”
that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., believes Trump’s pick will be confirmed Friday, but he has a back-up plan if Republicans fall one vote shy.
In that case, Graham would advise Trump to renominate Kavanaugh and allow the upcoming midterm elections to act as a referendum, particularly in states Trump won in 2016.
“This way the American people will have the last say,” he told the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Monday night.
“I’d ask voters in Indiana and Missouri and North Dakota and other places where Trump won saying who he would nominate if he got to be president and see if voters want to appeal the verdict of their senator.”
On the White House lawn Tuesday, as he waited to board Marine One on his way to Philadelphia, Trump was asked about Graham’s strategy.
“Well, I heard Lindsey say that. And certainly it’s interesting. People love him,” the president said.
Trump immediately pointed to his rally Monday night in Johnson City, Tennessee, “with a sold-out arena with thousands of people outside,” affirming there is strong support for Kavanaugh among America’s grass roots.
“Everywhere I go – I’m going to Pennsylvania, it’s the same thing – they are so in favor of Judge Kavanaugh,” he said.
“I actually think it’s like a rallying cry for the Republicans. They are so in favor of Judge Kavanaugh.”