First Republican calls for FBI to investigate Kavanaugh

Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesHow Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Trump deals with Saudis may be worth much less than 0 billion GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia 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 TrumpPaul Ryan defends Navy admiral after Trump's criticism Trump discussing visit overseas to troops following criticism: report Retired Army General: Trump is ‘acting like an 8th grader’ in attacking ex-Navy SEAL who led bin Laden operation 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 MurkowskiMcConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe Dems slam Trump’s energy regulator nominee Ernst elected to Senate GOP leadership 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.