McConnell rejects request for briefing on FBI's Kavanaugh report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday rejected a request to have the FBI brief all senators on its report on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.), McConnell said having the FBI meet with senators did not comply with the rules that govern background investigation reports.

“The briefing you request is not authorized by the MOU. It would be unprecedented and irregular. For example, there was no such briefing on the supplemental BI for the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court,” McConnell wrote in the letter. 

He added that “in all candor” he believes Democrats only want to delay a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

"I believe it would be used to further delay this nomination-a goal about which you and your Democratic colleagues have been abundantly clear and single-minded in pursuing," McConnell said. 

"The Chairman of the Committee has promptly and professionally investigated every credible (and incredible), last-minute allegation against Judge Kavanaugh, consistent with standard committee practices. The FBI's supplemental BI will be handled in the same professional and customary manner," McConnell added. 

Schumer responded to McConnell's letter by saying the effort to restrict a briefing on the results of the FBI investigation is "very telling."

"We believe the more openness the better but some of our colleagues on the other side clearly don't share that view. The reports that the White House has severely limited this investigation are deeply concerning, and our colleagues' determination to keep those restrictions secret is very telling," Schumer said. 

Schumer publicly called on the FBI to brief senators on its ongoing investigation into the allegations on Monday. He made the request formally in a letter to McConnell that was publicly released the following day. 

"We hope the FBI will be available to brief the Senate on the results of the investigation before a final floor vote," Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday. 

The response from McConnell comes as GOP senators expect the FBI will be able to hand over its report later Wednesday. Absent a bombshell from the bureau, Republicans say that would pave the way for an initial vote on Kavanaugh's nomination as early as Friday.

Updated: 5:43 p.m.