The White House received the results of the FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and sent the information to the Senate early Thursday morning, saying they are “fully confident” Kavanaugh will be confirmed.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) confirmed in a tweet early Thursday that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received the report, adding that senators will be granted equal access in order to review it. The report won’t be available to the public.
Grassley, upon being briefed on the report Thursday, released a statement implying that no misconduct against Kavanaugh could be determined.
“There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know,” he said. “Neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations. This investigation found no hint of misconduct and the same is true of the six prior FBI background investigations conducted during Judge Kavanaugh’s 25 years of public service.”
The information “is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on Twitter. “With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”
The White House reportedly said the FBI wasn’t able to corroborate the allegations against Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. According to The New York Times, the bureau ended up reaching out to 10 people and interviewing nine of them.
Dozens of others said they reached out but received no response from the FBI. William Scheuerman, who lived in the same residential college as Kavanaugh at Yale University, called the bureau to recommend people they should speak to. He never got a response, he wrote in a HuffPost guest column.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for a Friday vote ― before the findings were even released ― to end debate on the Kavanaugh issue, with a final vote on his nomination as early as Saturday.
Ahead of Thursday’s review, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) expressed apprehension that the report was not thorough enough.
“I’m concerned that if they never interviewed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or her corroborating witnesses, if they never interviewed many of Kavanaugh’s classmates from Yale who came forward to be heard about the alleged incident with Debbie Ramirez, that this isn’t the investigation I was hoping for,” Coons told CNN.
Grassley claimed Wednesday that there was never once a “whiff” of sexual misconduct unearthed in the investigation or any previous FBI probe carried out on Kavanaugh since 1993. Democrats attacked the statement as false, furthering the partisan back-and-forth that has swirled since three women, including Ford and Ramirez, came forward with allegations against the judge. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the claims.
It’s likely that Republicans will largely vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination, although Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) have said they haven’t yet made up their minds. If every Democrat votes no, at least two Republicans would also need to vote no in order to stop the nomination.
This story has been updated with Grassley’s statements, Coons’ comments and details of Scheuerman’s account.