The Wall Street Journal has reported that officials in the White House have examined interview reports and received a briefing about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s latest probe into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The Trump White House received the FBI report Wednesday evening and has found “no corroboration” of sexual misconduct allegations according to the Journal.
“Breaking: White House finds no corroboration of sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh after examining reports from FBI’s latest probe.”
Breaking: White House finds no corroboration of sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh after examining reports from FBI's latest probe https://t.co/nnNKmjz8ke pic.twitter.com/HtiQN9C6IK
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 4, 2018
This latest news indicates that the White House believes Kavanaugh has been cleared of all wrongdoing, and they expressed renewed confidence in their Supreme Court nominee.
The Journal cited sources close to the investigation who said that the Trump Administration is preparing to send the FBI’s final report to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning.
Despite the reported conclusion by the White House, Senators conducting the confirmation hearing for Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination will still determine his future. It is expected the committee will review the findings of the FBI investigation this morning.
Democrats have claimed the White House imposed too many restrictions on the scope of the FBI probe. The report was ordered by the White house after committee hearings from Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault. Dr. Ford claims Kavanaugh and a friend attempted to rape her at a high school party in 1982.
Investigators did not interview Dr. Ford, which her lawyers have claimed shows a lack of impartiality.
Michael Avenatti, who represents a third Kavanaugh accuser, tweeted:
“The FBI investigation was no investigation at all. @realDonaldTrump, @senatemajldr and @ChuckGrassley ensured that numerous key witnesses, including six very damaging witnesses I am aware of, were never even interviewed. Their conduct is a disgrace – they never wanted the truth.”
The FBI investigation was no investigation at all. @realDonaldTrump, @senatemajldr and @ChuckGrassley ensured that numerous key witnesses, including six very damaging witnesses I am aware of, were never even interviewed. Their conduct is a disgrace – they never wanted the truth.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 4, 2018
The sexual assault allegations against a Supreme Court nominee ignited a political firestorm across the US, and has led to many protests from women’s groups and sexual assault survivor advocates. They have pointed out that Dr. Ford has been attacked since coming forward. They say her account of what happened to her should be believed.
But the sham FBI investigation and the finding of “no collaboration” for Ford’s story show that her account was not believed, and has been disregarded.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already started the voting process to approve Kavanaugh with a motion on Wednesday night. This has paved the way for a Friday vote (called “cloture”) on whether to limit debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Assuming all goes well, McConnell will then move forward to a Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation as early as Saturday.
A simple majority of 51 votes is needed to approve Kavanaugh for the high court, and Republicans have 51 senators. This means that if just two GOP senators vote “no” then the nomination will fail. As of this morning three GOP senators — Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine — have not said they would vote in favor Kavanaugh.
Since these three senators said they have been waiting for the FBI report before deciding what to do, presumably when they see the report this morning they will make their decisions. Reports indicate there is nothing in the report that would make them reject Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The FBI was not allowed to interview many potential witnesses, and was not allowed to investigate claims that Kavanaugh had lied during his Senate testimony. This is why the majority of people feel that the report is tainted, and not credible. But this doesn’t mean that Republicans won’t vote to approve him anyway.
As Michael Avenatti pointed out, the goal of Kavanaugh’s supporters was not to discover the truth, but only to get the 51 votes needed to approve his promotion to the Supreme Court. And it appears that they may have succeeded in doing that.