Here Are The People The FBI Didn't Ask About Brett Kavanaugh

The FBI interviewed just nine people about the Supreme Court nominee. This isn't what a thorough investigation looks like.
The FBI reached out to 10 people during its dayslong investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and interviewed nine of them, according to The New York Times.
The FBI reached out to 10 people during its dayslong investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and interviewed nine of them, according to The New York Times.
ANDREW HARNIK via Getty Images

The FBI on Wednesday wrapped up its supplemental background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump and key Republican senators quickly expressed satisfaction with the report, calling it a “thorough investigation” and a “comprehensive review.” But dozens of interviews with Kavanaugh’s former classmates at Yale University revealed that FBI investigators interviewed just a small fraction of the witnesses who could shed light on the allegations and declined to speak with several people who contacted the bureau with relevant information.

The FBI reached out to 10 people in the course of its dayslong investigation and interviewed nine of them, according to The New York Times. The bureau spoke with Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who has accused the judge of thrusting his penis in her face at a college party; Mark Judge, a Georgetown Prep classmate of Kavanaugh’s who Christine Blasey Ford said was present during Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape her at a high school party; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of Ford’s who she said attended that party; Patrick “P.J.” Smyth, a prep school classmate of Kavanaugh’s who Ford said was also at the party; Chris Garrett, a prep school classmate of Kavanaugh’s; and Tim Gaudette, another prep school classmate of Kavanaugh’s.

But the investigators ignored countless accounts from Kavanaugh’s former classmates, friends and residential hall neighbors, many of whom spoke with HuffPost, that could paint a more detailed picture of the circumstances surrounding the allegations at hand. Multiple former classmates said they had information about Kavanaugh or Ramirez that they were willing to share but were never contacted by the FBI or never heard back after they reached out to the bureau.

Here are some of the people the FBI should have interviewed:

Brett Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford. Ford alleged that a drunken teenage Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed during a house party in the early 1980s, groped her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream while his friend Mark Judge looked on. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

Julie Swetnick. Swetnick alleged that she witnessed Kavanaugh at parties during the early 1980s where women were “gang raped.” “He was very aggressive ― very sloppy drunk, very mean drunk. I saw him ― go up to girls and paw on them, try to, you know, get a little too handsy, touching them in private parts. I saw him try to shift clothing,” Swetnick told NBC News.

Ford’s lawyers gave the FBI the names of more than a dozen witnesses who the lawyers said “would have challenged the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Committee.” The list includes:

  • Jeremiah Hanafin. The former FBI agent and polygraph examiner who conducted Ford’s polygraph examination regarding her allegation against Kavanaugh.

  • Russell Ford. Christine Blasey Ford’s husband. He detailed in a sworn declaration to the Senate Judiciary Committee that his wife told him and their couples therapist in 2012 that she was sexually assaulted when she was in high school.

  • Keith Koegler. A friend of Christine Blasey Ford’s. She told Koegler in 2016 that she was assaulted by a man who was then a federal judge. Shortly after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and before Kavanaugh was nominated to the court, she emailed Koegler and named Kavanaugh as her assailant.

  • Adela Gildo-Mazzon. Another friend of Ford’s. Ford told Gildo-Mazzon in 2013 that she was sexually assaulted by a man who was then a federal judge.

  • Rebecca Olson. A friend of Ford’s whom she confided in last year. She told Olson that she was sexually assaulted by a man who was then a federal judge.

  • Kirsten Leimroth. A family friend of Ford’s. She named Kavanaugh as her assailant and told Leimroth at a restaurant in July 2018 that she feared what would happen if her name and her accusation became public.

  • Jim Gensheimer. Another Ford friend who was present at the restaurant in July 2018. Gensheimer described the conversation in similar terms.

  • Monica L. McLean. An ex-boyfriend of Ford’s said this week that she helped her friend McLean prepare for a polygraph examination in the 1990s. Ford testified during her Senate hearing that she had never done so. McLean rejected the ex-boyfriend’s account.

Thomas Kane. Kane, a Georgetown Prep classmate of Kavanaugh’s, has called Ford’s allegations “absurd.” “Brett would never do anything like that. If it had happened, I would know about it. We all would have known about it,” Kane told The Washington Post.

Sean Hagan. A fellow Georgetown Prep student who could help explain why Kavanaugh and several of his friends referred to themselves as “Renate Alumnius” in a Georgetown Prep yearbook. With the phrase, The New York Times reported, the young men were boasting about their conquests of women ― and one student named Renate in particular. Hagan said the students in that circle were “very disrespectful, at least verbally” about her. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”

Sixty-five female former high school acquaintances of Kavanaugh’s who wrote a letter in support of him to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,” they wrote.

Chad Ludington. A former Yale classmate. Kavanaugh wasn’t truthful about his drinking habits when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ludington said. There were certainly many times when he could not remember what was going on,” Ludington told The New York Times about Kavanaugh. “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” Ludington said, adding that Kavanagh was involved in a 1985 incident at a bar that led to the arrest of Chris Dudley.

Kerry Berchem. A former Yale classmate who claimed to have a series of text messages that suggest Kavanaugh was talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s allegations days before The New Yorker made the story public. If Kavanaugh was aware of the allegations before the report, that would refute testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee about when he learned about them. Berchem contacted the FBI about the messages but never heard back from investigators, according to an email Berchem sent to the bureau, obtained by HuffPost:


Kathleen Charlton. Another former Yale classmate. Charlton, too, said she has information that indicates Kavanaugh was contacting former Yale classmates before The New Yorker made Ramirez’ allegations public. Charlton contacted her senator about the information and spoke to an FBI special agent who assured her she would hear back from the bureau, she told the Times. The FBI never took a statement from her.

Mark Krasberg. A Yale classmate. Krasberg tried multiple times to get “important evidence regarding the Debbie Ramirez investigation into the FBI’s hands, he told The New York Times.

Lynne Brooks. A former Yale classmate. Brooks has disputed Kavanaugh’s account of his drinking habits in college. “It is not plausible to me that he remembers everything that he did when he was drinking,” she said.

William Scheuerman. A former Yale classmate who lived in Kavanaugh’s residential halls. Scheurman contacted the FBI with a list of residents at the time of the alleged Ramirez incident, pulled from a yearbook from the time. The FBI never returned his call after he notified the bureau about his tip, he told HuffPost. “In reality, it seems this ‘investigation’ is just another partisan game being played to win over a few wavering Senate votes,” he wrote.

Bryan Cole. A former Yale classmate and college friend of Ramirez’s. Cole wasn’t surprised by Ramirez’ allegation. “That it would happen to a woman and she would not feel comfortable to speak about it doesn’t surprise me either a bit,” he told HuffPost. “Among some groups, that was the culture. There’s no excuse for that behavior, and unfortunately, guys like Kavanaugh still felt they could behave that way, especially when drinking,” Cole said.

James Roche. One of Kavanaugh’s freshman-year roommates. Kavanaugh has “not told the truth about his drinking, Roche said in a statement. “Although Brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.” Roche has offered to provide his account to the FBI, but the bureau never contacted him. Kavanaugh strongly denied Roche’s claims.

“More than 20” names of witnesses provided to the FBI by Ramirez’s lawyer. Ramirez’s lawyer provided the FBI with a list of “more than 20” additional witnesses “likely to have relevant” information to share that might be able to corroborate Ramirez’s account, her lawyer said. Those witnesses were not interviewed, Ramirez’s lawyer said in a letter. Those witnesses include:

  • Kenneth Appold. Appold, a former Yale classmate, soon learned about the alleged exposure incident and heard that Ramirez was the victim and Kavanaugh the perpetrator, he told The New Yorker. Appold was one of the many witnesses Ramirez’s lawyer recommended the FBI speak to, but the bureau never did.

  • Richard Oh. A Yale classmate who remembers overhearing a female student tearfully recounting an incident similar to the one Ramirez described.

Elizabeth Swisher. Swisher, a former Yale classmate, described as a lie Kavanaugh’s claim he had “never had a blackout” from drinking in college. “I saw him very drunk many times and there is no way he remembers everything about every night,” she told the Times.

Chris Dudley. Dudley, a friend and former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who was arrested during the 1985 bar incident described by Ludington. Dudley has vouched for Kavanaugh’s claim that he never blacked out from drinking. “I will say it again, we drank in college. I was with Brett frequently in college, whether it be in the gym, in class or socializing. I never ever saw Brett blackout. Not one time,” Dudley said in a statement released by the White House.

Chris Munnelly. A former Yale classmate who was a freshman when Kavanaugh was a senior. Munnelly cast doubt on the notion that Kavanaugh drank too much and that DKE, the fraternity to which Kavanaugh belonged, was an out-of-control party frat.

Dan Murphy. A former Yale roommate of Kavanaugh’s. Murphy, too, backed up Kavanaugh’s description of his drinking habits. “I never saw Brett black out or not be able to remember the prior evening’s events, nor did I ever see Brett act aggressive, hostile, or in a sexually aggressive manner to women,” Murphy said.

Daniel Lavan. A former Yale classmate. Lavan saw Kavanaugh “on multiple occasions stumbling drunk where he could not have rational control over his actions or clear recollection of them,” he told The New York Times.

Elizabeth Rasor. Rasor told The New Yorker that her ex-boyfriend Mark Judge told her “ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman.”

Tad Low. Low, who was a year behind Kavanaugh at Yale, contacted the FBI about an alleged incident at the DKE fraternity house. “During the 1987–88 school year, I was an eyewitness to a shocking ceremony taking place inside the DKE fraternity house that involved a semi-circle of cheering frat brothers watching a local prostitute perform a public sex act,” Low wrote in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. A “low level” employee at the FBI heard his tip, Low said, but asked no additional questions and didn’t give him a reference number, The New York Daily News reported.

Steve Kantrowitz. Kantrowitz, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, disputed Kavanaugh’s claim in a Fox News interview that he was a virgin for many years after high school. “Perhaps Brett Kavanaugh was a virgin for many years after high school,” Kantrowitz tweeted. “But he claimed otherwise in a conversation with me during our freshman year in Lawrance Hall at Yale, in the living room of my suite.”

Yale’s DKE fraternity members during Kavanaugh’s college years. HuffPost contacted dozens of members from the Yale chapter of the fraternity. The vast majority did not respond to requests for comment, and some declined to comment. Dozens of women who were Yale students when Kavanaugh was on campus and a member of DKE told HuffPost that DKE was a fraternity known on campus for mistreating women. “The guys from DKE were pigs. Horrible men,” said one woman who graduated in 1985 and requested anonymity to speak frankly about her experiences at the school.

Hundreds of Yale classmates and residential hall neighbors of Kavanaugh’s and Ramirez’s. More than 40 people “with potential information into the sexual misconduct allegations” against Kavanaugh, including multiple high school and college classmates of his, tried to contact the FBI, to no avail, NBC News reported. Beyond Appold, several other former Yale classmates said they had reached out to the FBI about Kavanaugh “but had not received a response,” according to The New Yorker. Two high school acquaintances of Kavanaugh’s said they submitted sworn declarations to the FBI but were not contacted by the bureau, the magazine reported. HuffPost spoke to dozens of former classmates who had some information to share about Kavanaugh and Ramirez and the general party culture that Yale was drenched in at the time, off the record. The FBI interviewed none of them.

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