White House pushes back on complaints that the FBI investigation did not go far enough

October 4, 2018

The White House is pushing back Thursday on accusations that the FBI did not thoroughly pursue leads about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s drinking habits or Deborah Ramirez’ sexual misconduct claims.

When asked during an interview on CNN’s “New Day” about why the FBI did not follow up on 20 individuals that Deborah Ramirez put forward, White House spokesmanRaj Shah highlighted issues with one man’s account that supported her allegations. He argued the claim was essentially hearsay.

Mr. Shah referenced a New Yorker article quoting Kenneth Appold, a former suite mate of the future judge, who claimed to hear about the party where Judge Kavanaugh allegedly put his genitals in Ms. Ramirez’ face.

“I believe her because it matches the same story I heard thirty-five years ago, although the two of us have never talked,” Mr. Appold told the New Yorker.

“I’m not going out on a limb when I say that’s basically an example of hearsay and that’s not really worth the FBI’s time,” Mr. Shah said.

Mr. Appold tried to contact the friend who told him about the party but didn’t hear back. The New Yorker reported that the friend in question told them he had no memory of such an incident.

Mr. Shah was also pressed on why the White House did not direct the FBI to look into Judge Kavanaugh’s drinking.

Host Alisyn Camerota stressed that Jamie Roche, Chad Ludington and a female friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s in college told them that the Supreme Court nominee was not accurate in his testimony and often drank heavily. She argued investigating those claims were connected to determining if Judge Kavanaugh had memory lapses, to the point of not remembering the assaults he was accused of.

“They’re not actually claiming direct evidence of memory lapses,” Mr. Shah said. “They’re saying they don’t necessarily believe his testimony.”

Judge Kavanaugh admitted to drinking beer in high school and college, sometimes heavily, but he denied ever passing out or blacking out from as a result.

Mr. Shah said the FBI reached out to 10 individuals in the probe and interviewed nine. Neither Judge Kavanaugh nor Christine Blasey Ford spoke with the FBI.

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