Feinstein questions legitimacy of Kavanaugh investigation

Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called into question on Wednesday the legitimacy of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The senator in a statement denounced the White House for “not allow[ing]” the FBI to interview Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or one of the women accusing him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, as part of the ongoing investigation.

{mosads}“The White House confirmation that it will not allow the FBI to interview Dr. Blasey Ford, Judge Kavanaugh or witnesses identified by [second Kavanaugh accuser] Deborah Ramirez raises serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation and begs the question: What other restrictions has the White House placed on the FBI?” she said. 

Asked for clarification by The Hill about the White House’s position on the FBI interviews, Feinstein’s office pointed to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s at Wednesday’s press briefing.

Sanders earlier in the day said President Trump is “fine” with the FBI interviewing whomever they deem necessary for the investigation, following a Bloomberg report that indicated the White House had not given the FBI the authority to interview Kavanaugh or Ford. 

Ford’s lawyers on Wednesday confirmed she has not been contacted by the FBI. 

“[Trump] has asked that the Senate be the ones that determine the scope of what they need in order to make a decision on whether they vote Kavanaugh up or down,” Sanders said.

“I can also tell you that both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford were questioned in the most public way possible by the members of the Senate who are ultimately the ones who have to make the determination on whether or not they vote for Judge Kavanaugh,” Sanders added. “If they had additional questions for either one of them, they had a time and opportunity certainly on to ask those.”

Ford and Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week regarding Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has also come forward claiming that Kavanaugh exposed himself without her consent during a party at Yale University in the 1980s.

A third woman, Julie Swetnick, signed an affidavit last week alleging that Kavanaugh engaged in a pattern of exploitative and non-consensual behavior with girls in high school. Her claims have been treated more cautiously, and her recent interview she did with NBC led to more questions about the veracity of her allegations.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all of the allegations. 

Feinstein on Wednesday said last Thursday’s hearing was “no substitute for FBI interviews, especially when you consider the tenor of Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony.” 

Multiple Democratic senators have raised issues with Kavanaugh’s performance, during which aggressively confronted multiple senators.   

“When he wasn’t yelling and demeaning senators, he was making misleading statements that cast doubt on his overall trustworthiness,” Feinstein said. “I don’t think that would happen with FBI agents seated across the table.”

Kavanaugh during the hearing made several claims about his drinking in high school and college that have been refuted by some former classmates. 

Feinstein in the statement said the White House has not been clear about the scope of the FBI investigation. 

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

GOP senators were told on Wednesday to expect the FBI report imminently. 

Tags Dianne Feinstein Donald Trump
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