First Republican calls for FBI to investigate Kavanaugh

Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesHouse elects Pelosi to second Speakership GOP lawmaker suggests Trump use some of his own money to help pay for border wall Pelosi sees fierce resistance from White House if Dems seek Trump’s tax returns MORE (N.C.) became the first Republican lawmaker in Congress to call for an FBI investigation into allegations by three women that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, sexually assaulted or harassed them decades ago.

“I think there should be an investigation by the FBI. I really do,” Jones told The Hill in a brief interview in the Capitol. “What in the world difference would 10 days make? Why not wait 10 days, why not wait two weeks to find out the truth?”

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Such an investigation could exonerate and “help Kavanaugh,” argued Jones, who has sometimes clashed with Trump.

Asked if he thought the three women accusing Kavauagh were credible, Jones replied: “I don’t know enough information to say that. But they should be given the benefit of the doubt.”

Jones is not a senator and will have no role in the confirmation of Kavanaugh, but his comments are notable as many Republicans in the Senate close ranks around Kavanaugh.

A handful of GOP senators remain undecided in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow 51-49 majority.

A third Kavanaugh accuser came forward on Wednesday. Julie Swetnick, who grew up in the same Maryland county as Kavanaugh, alleged in a statement that she had attended more than 10 high school parties where Kavanaugh was present and witnessed him “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s.”

She alleged she was drugged and gang raped at one party that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge had attended, though she did not say they participated.

Kavanaugh in a statement issued by the White House described these allegations as coming from the twilight zone.

Earlier, Christine Blasey Ford alleged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both high school students. And one of Kavanaugh’s classmates at Yale, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college dormitory party.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all allegations against him, something Trump has called a “con job” by Democrats trying to derail the nomination. Both Kavanaugh and Ford will testify about the allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Democrats have been calling for an FBI investigation into the assault allegations. But so far, Jones is the only Republican on Capitol Hill to join those calls.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKaine to force Senate to hold rare Saturday session amid shutdown Senate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Senators look for possible way to end shutdown MORE (R-Alaska) told CNN an FBI investigation would “clear up a lot of things.” But later in the day, she walked back those comments and said she was not calling for the FBI to get involved.