- The FBI has reportedly contacted Deborah Ramirez, one of three women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, as part of a background investigation into Kavanaugh ahead of his confirmation vote.
- The Washington Post reported that the bureau was following up on allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who testified to the Senate this week that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s.
- Federal investigators have one week for the probe and are reportedly aiming to schedule interviews throughout the weekend.
The FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez, one of three women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, as part of a background investigation into Kavanaugh ahead of his confirmation vote.
The Washington Post, citing sources familiar with the investigation, reported that it was not clear if Ramirez had been interviewed yet. The report confirmed the agency was also following up on a sexual-assault allegation from California professor Christine Blasey Ford.
Ramirez’s lawyer John Clune tweeted Saturday afternoon to confirm she would be cooperating with the investigation.
We can confirm the FBI has reached out to interview Ms. Ramirez and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation. Out of respect for the integrity of the process, we will have no further comment at this time.
— John Clune (@CluneEsq) September 29, 2018
The Los Angeles Times reported late Friday that FBI agents began to zero in on potential witnesses immediately after President Donald Trump authorised the agency to conduct a supplemental background check on Kavanaugh, looking to schedule an interview “as early as tonight.“
Ramirez, a former Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s, alleged that he exposed himself to her at a dorm-room party during the 1983-4 school year. And Ford testified to the Senate earlier this week that when they were in high school, the 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her down, put his hand over her mouth, and groped her while his friend watched at a Bethesda, Maryland, party in the early ’80s.
After Ford’s testimony, Kavanaugh vehemently denied her account and said the process had become “a national disgrace” and “a circus.”
Ford’s previously anonymous account was first published in The Washington Post, a week before The New Yorker published an article detailing Ramirez’s allegation.
Ramirez said she was reluctant to come forward because she was drinking at the time of the incident and there are gaps in her memory, though she said she could recall key details.
“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she told The New Yorker. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”
Ramirez also recalled another student nearby yelling, “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.”
After Ford and Ramirez came forward with their accounts, another woman named Julie Swetnick alleged in a sworn declaration that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge would “spike” punch with drugs or alcohol so that girls could be “gang raped” by a “train” of boys. Swetnick said she was one of the victims of such an attack, though she did not name Kavanaugh as her attacker.
Federal investigators were have been given one week to complete their investigation, and several other witnesses, like Judge and Ford’s friend Leland Keyser, have indicated that they are willing to cooperate fully with law enforcement.
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