September 29, 2018 4:53 pm
Updated: September 29, 2018 6:42 pm

FBI contacts Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate and accuser as it begins investigation

WATCH ABOVE: Before departing for a MAGA rally in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday night, U.S. President Trump continued to express confidence in the innocence of Judge Brett Kavanaugh over sexual assault allegations.

A A

The FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez, who’s accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was a Yale student, as part of the bureau’s investigation of the Supreme Court nominee, her attorney said Saturday.

READ MORE: Women across U.S. divided over Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination after hearings


Story continues below

Ramirez’s lawyer, John Clune, said agents want to interview her and she has agreed to co-operate. Ramirez has said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s when they were Yale students.

President Donald Trump ordered the FBI on Friday to reopen Kavanaugh’s background investigation after several women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Senate leaders agreed to delay a final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to allow for a one-week FBI investigation. The Senate Judiciary Committee has said the probe should be limited to “current credible allegations” against Kavanaugh and be finished by next Friday.

WATCH: Nancy Pelosi says Brett Kavanaugh compromised his ‘objectivity’

The FBI conducts background checks for federal nominees, but the agency does not make judgments on the credibility or significance of allegations. The investigators will compile information about Kavanaugh’s past and provide their findings to the White House and include the information in Kavanaugh’s background file, which is available to senators.

Kavanaugh and another of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, testified publicly before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford says was in the room when a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, said that he will co-operate with any law enforcement agency that will “confidentially investigate” sexual misconduct allegations against him and Kavanaugh. Judge has also denied Ford’s allegations.

READ MORE: Kavanaugh hearing: Gender study, law experts react to what senators had to say

Lawyers for P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser, two others who Ford said were in the house when she was attacked, have said their clients are willing to co-operate “fully” with the FBI’s investigation.

A third woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh and Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a “joke” and Judge has said he “categorically” denies the allegations.

Swetnick’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Saturday afternoon that his client had not been contacted by the FBI but is willing to fully co-operate with investigators.

WATCH: Fallout from controversial Calgary Herald commentary defending Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee from Rhode Island, said he expects the FBI would provide adequate staffing for the investigation, with teams working in parallel to investigate separate allegations. Agents should get support from the Judiciary Committee for rapid immunity and subpoena decisions, he said.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.