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Washington awaits FBI findings on Kavanaugh

by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/02/18, 12:06 pm

WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning for a final vote in the Senate this week on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the FBI may not complete its expanded investigation of Kavanaugh in time. The White House broadened its instructions to the bureau after Democrats expressed concern over Senate Republicans’ restrictions on the investigation, limiting the list of people to interview.

The FBI interviewed several people over the weekend, including Mark Judge, Leland Keyser, and Patrick J. Smyth. Christine Blasey Ford said the three attended the high school party where Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her. Investigators also interviewed Kavanaugh’s Yale University classmate Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dorm party.

On Monday, President Donald Trump clarified that the FBI could interview anyone deemed necessary, including Julie Swetnick, who also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct in high school, as long as the investigation wrapped up this week. That same day, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, except for Sen. Chris Coons, gave the FBI a list of additional witnesses they wanted interviewed.

McConnell may move to end debate on the nomination midweek and set up a procedural vote as early as Friday. After that, a final confirmation vote could happen as early as Sunday. Senators have agreed not to vote before the completion of the FBI investigation, Politico reported.

With a slim 51-49 Republican majority in the Senate, McConnell can only lose one vote without needing a tiebreaker from Vice President Mike Pence or support from across the aisle. McConnell is courting three GOP senators who are so far undecided: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Flake demanded the FBI investigation Friday as a condition for voting yes to advance Kavanaugh out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, text messages between former Yale classmates show Kavanaugh’s team knew that more accusations were going to come out, though not exactly what, before Deborah Ramirez went public. Texts between Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage show Kavanaugh or a representative talked with Yarasavage before Ramirez’s report was published in The New Yorker. One text said Kavanaugh asked Yarasavage to deny Ramirez’s allegations. Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he first heard about the accusations after the article came out.

Berchem said in a statement to NBC, “I have no direct or indirect knowledge about any of the allegations against him. However, I am in receipt of text messages from a mutual friend of both Debbie and mine that raise questions related to the allegations.” Berchem said she sent a memo to the FBI and is waiting to hear back.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  •  austinbeartux's picture
    Posted: Tue, 10/02/2018 01:33 pm

    If the FBI uncovers anything new that the Judiciary Committee has not heard before, there will be howls from the Democrats that they need more time to interview more people, to look at all the new facts, to deliberate and to consider.  If Republicans hold to a Friday (or even this weekend) vote, the mainstream media will assert that they're ram-rodding Kavanaugh through wrecklessly. 

    Just looking at this from an "optics" view.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 10/02/2018 02:31 pm

    We are certainly seeing proof of the adage, “If you sling enough mud, some of it will stick.”  

    Which means, in this case, some of those who supported Judge Kavanaugh are now having doubts, thinking, “There have been more accusations, maybe there is some truth in them.”   

    Such a shame that an upstanding man can be destroyed so easily by allegations that cannot be either proved or disproved. 

    But the Dems are only delaying the inevitable, imo. 

    If Judge Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed, President Trump will nominate another conservative, then another if necessary. I believe the Dems will be disappointed in their expectations of having a majority after November. 

  • DAD
    Posted: Tue, 10/02/2018 02:46 pm

    Another FBI investigation would be useless and invalid EXCEPT TO PROLONG ANY DECISION BY THE JUDICARY SENATE COMMITTEE AND THE COMPLETE SENATE.  The demand for another FBI investigation IS NOT VALID and is based on a complete misunderstanding of the FBI’s role as a government agency.  What is requested is what a law enforcement agency may do in the criminal justice system BUT NOT IN THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS.

                The distinction between the criminal justice system and the confirmation process is critical.  The FBI is in the executive branch, which has authority over the criminal justice system. The confirmation process, however, occurs in the legislative branch.  The Constitution gives the Senate sole responsibility for evaluating presidential nominees, THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY.

                In the criminal justice system, the FBI investigates by not only gathering information but by evaluating it, offering conclusions and some recommendations, and/or figuring out what really has happened.

                In the confirmation process, the FBI gathers information and stops there.  The Senate must do the rest.

                The Senate committee already has done this work.  A“full field” FBI investigation has been carried out previously for Judge Kavanaugh.  Six times between 1993 and 2018, six times  ALL AFTER THE INCIDENT THAT DR. FORD ALLEGES OCCURRED.  The FBI in all this time never heard any word of Judge Kavanaugh’s possible sexual misconduct.

                The “extreme quest” for an FBI investigation by Judge Kavanaugh’s opponents is misleading in its purpose AND has no validity.  The confirmation process by the Senate Committee is already structured and equipped to evaluate any unexpected allegations as they arise.  THE SENATE COMMITTEE ALREADY HAS CARRIED OUT THESE TASKS.

  • MB
    Posted: Tue, 10/02/2018 03:47 pm

    Thank you, Dad, for your informational comment. Very helpful. It's too bad the press won't educate us on these technical issues of the Constitution. 

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 10/03/2018 10:24 am

    Harvest, you need to be very careful about what you report from the Liberal Mainstream Media (MSM) because they are in the business of propaganda and are essentially an arm of the Democratic Party. I have watched the news for over 40 years and in the last 15 years it has become really bad and the last 5 years even much worse. They cannot be depended on to report the truth and will twist the facts to fit the narrative that they seek to propagate!  You say, “Texts between Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage show Kavanaugh or a representative talked with Yarasavage before Ramirez’s report was published in The New Yorker.”  The leftist reporter is guessing that Kavanaugh was somehow communicating with Yarasavage and doesn’t really know this. The allegations made by Ramirez are so outlandish that no reasonable person would entertain them given that she was calling friends trying to verify who exposed themselves to her all these years ago. This news report that your article depends is highly suspect given their agenda of destroying Kavanaugh- if you critical look at how they report. Also, you should ask yourself how they got the text messages. Who gave it to them? Did they have an agenda and did they alter the text messages? The left views “the ends justify the means” so they are oftentimes very cavalier with the evidence and in their reporting. That is why Trump calls the MSM the “Fake News”!