Chuck Grassley: ‘No hint of misconduct’ in FBI’s new Kavanaugh report
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Thursday the FBI’s updated background report doesn’t provide any new evidence to corroborate the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Mr. Grassley, the Iowa Republican in charge of shepherding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, said there’s “no hint of misconduct” after a dayslong review of allegations of sexual assault at a high school party, made by Christine Blasey Ford, or that the judge exposed himself at a college party, made by Deborah Ramirez.
“These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations,” he said.
The report was finalized overnight and senators were getting their first look at it Thursday morning.
The parties were taking turns looking at the single copy, which was being held in the Judiciary Committee’s file on Judge Kavanaugh.
His nomination to the Supreme Court has been held up while senators debate the allegations about decades-old partying and sexual improprieties. The issue has been compounded by the judge’s admitted affinity for beer.
Even before seeing the report, Democrats complained that it did not include interviews with Ms. Blasey Ford, the first accuser to come forward last month.
She gave compelling testimony last week about a party in 1982 where she says Judge Kavanaugh groped her, tried to strip off her clothes and stifled her cries for help. But none of the witnesses she identified as being at the party have been able to corroborate her story, and there is no contemporaneous evidence to back her up.
Democrats said without talking to Ms. Blasey Ford or seeing her documents, including therapy notes and a polygraph exam she arranged to take in August, investigators aren’t getting the full picture.
Mr. Grassley countered that he trusted the FBI to follow the leads it thought best. He said that’s what both sides agreed to last week when they decided to delay a final vote on Judge Kavanaugh to give the bureau a chance to investigate.
Some senators at the time had predicted the FBI wouldn’t settle things, and that lawmakers would be in the same position of he-said, she-said.
That appears to be the case.
“There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know,” Mr. Grassley said.