The White House will reportedly give the FBI free reign to interview any witness it deems relevant to its investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
The New York Times reports that an order expanding the inquiry came within the past day, as lawmakers signaled they would not accept a constrained investigation. The administration is still adamant the probe conclude by week’s end.
“I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation, whatever that means, according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority,” President Donald Trump said, speaking in the Rose Garden on Monday morning. “I want them to do that. I want it to be comprehensive. I think it’s actually a good thing for Judge Kavanaugh.”
Until Monday, the investigation was limited to four individuals. Three of them — Mark Judge, Patrick Smyth and Leland Keyser — were identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who said she believes they were present at a house party where Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her.
The fourth is Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while she was drunk and disoriented during their freshman year at Yale University. All four were interviewed by Monday.
Other witnesses who might pique the interest of the FBI include Chris Garrett, a high school friend of Kavanaugh nicknamed “Squi.” Blasey Ford briefly dated Garrett in high school, and described him as her primary connection to Kavanaugh’s social circle. (RELATED: Kavanaugh Fight Leaves Supreme Court Shorthanded For New Term)
Other of Kavanaugh’s contemporaries from Yale allege he misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking habits in college. The judge says he never drank to the point of blacking out as an undergraduate, which former classmates dispute.
As of Saturday, Blasey Ford’s lawyers said she had not been contacted by the FBI, though she is ready to cooperate with the inquiry. It is unclear whether Kavanaugh himself will be interviewed, though Trump welcomed such a development.
The current FBI probe may not be the final inquiry into the allegations. Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday on ABC News that the House would take up the matter if the Senate’s probe proves deficient.
“If he is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn’t investigated, the House will have to,” Nadler said. “We would have to investigate any credible allegations, certainly of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked into before.”
Nadler will likely become chair of the committee if Democrats take control of the House in November.
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