Federal Bureau of Investigation probe does not support Kavanaugh assault claims: Top Republican

Howard TerryOct 05, 2018

"I'm simply trying to have relevant investigators ask the right questions", Berchem said in an interview with The Washington Post.

She said Mr Kavanaugh was drunk and had pinned her on to a bed, tried to remove her clothing and put his hand over her mouth when she screamed.

The FBI, at the request of Democrats and a key Republican senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, was given a week to look into allegations by a university professor, Christine Blasey Ford, that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when they were teenagers decades ago.

Harcourt said they signed out of concern about a rush to judgment, in the belief that for the Senate to elevate Kavanaugh "without full information and deliberation to the Supreme Court would undermine the respect owed" to the institution.

Top Democrats fired back at Grassley after getting their own briefing.

"The most notable part of this report is what's not in it", the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already started a process that will produce a crucial test vote in his polarized chamber Friday on Kavanaugh's fate.

"I think it's safe to say the national spectacle the professional left has created around Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process has now reached some kind of fever pitch", he said, adding the past 17 days have been a "feeding frenzy" against Kavanaugh and his family.

The law professors say in the letter that Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony regarding Ford's sexual assault allegation "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land". He provided no specifics.

The court's nine justices are appointed for life and have the final say on some of the most contentious issues in U.S. public life, from abortion to gun control and voting laws.

Updates at 10:41 with Grassley's statement.

Earlier, White House spokesman Raj Shah rebuffed Democrats' complaints, saying, "What critics want is a never-ending fishing expedition into high school drinking".

FILE PHOTO: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, U.S., September 27, 2018.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegation and further sexual misconduct claims against him from two other women.

Trump weighed in hours later.

Another undecided Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski, did not offer her view on the Federal Bureau of Investigation report. She said Ford has "been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the president", and said Trump was merely "pointing out factual inconsistencies". Capitol police stepped up their security presence on Thursday, in anticipation of confrontation.

Just a single copy of the report was produced, which was not made public.

The bounce in Republican enthusiasm could be particularly helpful in close Senate races.

Speaking in response on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said a majority of Americans believe Ford's claims over Kavanaugh.

On another question, 45 percent of respondents said they believe Ford is telling the truth about what happened when the two were in high school, while 33 percent said they believe Kavanaugh.

Collins told reporters that Trump's lampooning of Ford at a Tuesday night MS campaign rally was "just plain wrong." Sen.

Three Republican senators - Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - are being closely watched, as they have not yet said how they will vote.

Flake, the third Republican swing vote, said there was "no time and no place for remarks like that".

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who represents the red state of West Virginia, is the lone hold out.

President Trump likewise tweeted that the Kavanaugh fight would help Republicans at the polls.

Feinstein added, "Democrats agreed that the investigation's scope should be limited". And a new series of polls indicates that Democratic attempts to stop Kavanagh could be mobilizing Republican voters.

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