White House says no corroboration of Brett Kavanaugh sex assault allegations in FBI probe: reports
The White House found no corroboration of the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, according to reports that emerged late Wednesday.
The New York Times spoke with an unnamed official who was briefed on the FBI’s review.
That official said the FBI contacted 10 people but interviewed nine in total, and that the White House concluded that the interviews didn’t support the allegations.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that the White House found no corroboration, citing people it said were “familiar with the matter.”
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Neither Kavanaugh nor Christine Blasey Ford, one woman who has levelled allegations against him, were interviewed as part of the probe, which was criticized by Democrats for being too narrow, the Times reported.
The news emerged as U.S. senators received the FBI’s supplemental background report stemming from its investigation into Kavanaugh early Thursday.
White House spokesperson Raj Shah tweeted a statement saying it was “fully confident” of Kavanaugh’s confirmation after having seen the information.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley confirmed early Thursday that ranking member and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein had received the report and that he had agreed to “alternating EQUAL access” for senators to study the content.
In a series of tweets, Grassley went on to say that Kavanaugh and Ford had a chance to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and tell senators what they knew.
The time allotted to senators to study the backgrounder was the subject of an NBC News story on Wednesday.
The network reported that there are no multiple copies of the backgrounder, and that senators can only look at it in a secure part of the judiciary committee’s offices.
Grassley is expected to see the report first, followed by Feinstein an hour later.
Then Republican committee members are expected to have a chance with the backgrounder an hour after Feinstein, after which the Democratic members will be able to see it.
Then the rest of the Senate can examine the report.
Senators will view the report one day before they’re expected to vote on a cloture motion Friday that was filed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The motion allows the Senate to end a debate without dropping a motion or piece of legislation at hand.
If the Senate votes to end the debate, members could be set up for a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Saturday.
Various reports have suggested that the FBI didn’t interview everyone it could have as part of its probe.
The New Yorker reported Wednesday that it had spoken to “several people” who wanted to speak with the bureau but “expressed exasperation” at what they saw as a “lack of interest in their accounts.”
The magazine reported that a number of ex-Yale students who said they had information about an alleged incident in which Deborah Ramirez, one of the women making allegations against Kavanaugh, claimed that he sexually assaulted her by exposing himself and pushing his penis in her face.
One ex-student, Kenneth Appold, a roommate of Kavanaugh’s at the time and now a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, said he learned of the alleged incident on the night in which it allegedly happened, the following day or even two days afterward.
He said he was sure he had been informed that Kavanaugh had exposed himself.
Meanwhile, NBC News previously reported that the FBI didn’t contact over 40 potential sources in the Kavanaugh probe.
Over 20 people who know Ramirez or Kavanaugh told the network that they hadn’t heard from the bureau despite trying to contact them.
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