Our 'fears have been realised': Democrats slam FBI investigation into Kavanaugh

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
  • Senate Democrats condemned the FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, calling it “incomplete.”
  • Democrats have accused the White House of limiting the investigation, pointing to the fact that the FBI didn’t interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, a professor who has accused him of sexual assault.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the GOP to release a redacted version of the report and the White House’s directive instructing the FBI on how to conduct its investigation.

Senate Democrats on Thursday condemned the FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, arguing that the probe was limited by the White House and plagued by a lack of transparency.

After being briefed on the report, of which only one hard copy had been made available to senators under time limits and intense security, Democratic leadership called the investigation “incomplete” and pushed for Republicans to release a redacted version of the report and the White House’s directive to the FBI on how to conduct the probe.

“We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all the facts,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said during a brief press conference on Thursday morning. “Having received a thorough briefing on the documents, those fears have been realised.”

Schumer said he disagreed with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s description of the report as containing “no hint of misconduct.”

“Why shouldn’t all of America see the facts?” Schumer said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called the report “a product of an incomplete investigation” and accused the White House of blocking the FBI from “doing its job.”

“The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” she said during the press conference.

Democratic lawmakers were given one hour on Thursday morning to view the report in a secure room in the Senate. A procedural vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination has been scheduled for Friday, and a final vote could be held as early as Saturday.

The FBI conducted the background investigation into Kavanaugh after he and Christine Blasey Ford, a professor who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in high school, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday. Republicans said they found Ford’s testimony “credible.”

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct from Ford and two other women. The FBI interviewed several of Kavanaugh’s classmates and other people of interest, including Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party when they were at Yale University.

Democrats have criticised the scope and length of the investigation amid news reports that former classmates of Kavanaugh’s said the FBI had ignored their offers of testimony that could corroborate Ford’s allegation.

Sinéad Baker contributed to this report.

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