Schumer: FBI should brief Senate before final Kavanaugh vote

Schumer: FBI should brief Senate before final Kavanaugh vote
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that the FBI should brief the Senate before lawmakers take a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Schumer said that regardless of a senator's position on Kavanaugh, the country benefits if the FBI investigation is viewed as " fair, clean and not constrained particularly by partisan means."

"For that reason, we hope the FBI will be available to brief the Senate on the results of the investigation before a final floor vote," Schumer said from the Senate floor.

Spokesmen for Schumer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether he was calling for a closed-door all-members briefing before a final vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

The FBI has until Friday, under the original one-week timeline agreed to by senators, to complete its investigation.

Schumer added on Monday that Democrats believed one week was enough time for the FBI to complete its investigation but that "it must be done right."

"Democrats are not interested in delay for the sake of delay. ...We're a society based on the rule of law. It's therefore crucial the American people have faith in the Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court," Schumer said.

Democrats have asked for the White House to hand over details on the scope of the FBI's investigation but noted on Monday that the administration has yet to get an answer.

The New York Times reported on Monday that the White House has told the bureau that it could speak with anyone it deemed appropriate as long as the agency finished the investigation by the end of the week.

NBC News reported over the weekend that initial guidance given to the bureau by the White House did not include investigating claims made by Julie Swetnick, who alleges that Kavanaugh was present at a party where she was gang raped.

Swetnick was the third woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez have publicly brought sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothing during a high school party in the early 1980s. Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were both students at Yale University.

Kavanaugh denies each of the allegations.