Grassley: Senate Judiciary has received FBI’s Kavanaugh report

Grassley: Senate Judiciary has received FBI’s Kavanaugh report
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Timeline for GOP's Obama probe report slips as chairman eyes subpoenas MORE (R-Iowa) said early Thursday that the panel has received the "supplemental FBI background file" for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which senators will review later in the day. 


Senators on Thursday morning will be granted access to the results of the confidential FBI background investigation into the allegations brought forward against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford and two other women who say the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted them.

Lawmakers from rival parties will be able to view the report in one-hour shifts, as the document changes hands between parties every hour.

Republicans have placed strict limits on viewing the document to prevent leaks, and just one copy of the report will be available at a time, a move that has infuriated some Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

“Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Campaign Report: Who will Biden pick to be his running mate? Don't count out Duckworth in Biden VP race Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE (D-Ill.) said on Wednesday. “That’s what we were told. And we were also that we would be given one hour for the Dems, one hour for the Republicans. Alternating."

Grassley told reporters Wednesday that the FBI's report would not be made public, and noted that Democrats "didn't object" to the established procedures of handling classified information in the past.

A GOP spokesman for the Judiciary panel declined to comment on Democrats' concerns, but Republican aides indicated that viewing a single copy of such a report was standard procedure.

Nine staff members, including both GOP and Democratic members, will have access to the report and can brief those with access who do not want to read it in detail, The Associated Press reports.

Grassley was expected to view the report first, according to the AP, while others senators will follow. The report will be held in a special chamber for sensitive materials, with Republicans granted access to it in the first hour beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The Judiciary Committee said in a statement early Thursday that the FBI report will be held in the Office of Senate Security as a “security and confidentiality precaution.”

“Amidst concerns over recent leaks of sensitive or confidential information, the legal restrictions imposed by the Privacy Act and the expected interest among senators to review the information, the use of the Senate’s secure space will best facilitate access for senators,” it added. “The use of the secure space in this case will satisfy the physical custody requirements outlined in the memorandum of understanding.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellProfessional sports players associations come out against coronavirus liability protections Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to bring Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate this week, though several key GOP and Democratic senators have so far refused to say how they will vote. 

White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement early Thursday that senators have been "given ample time to review this seventh background investigation."

"This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents," he added.

"With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”

This report was updated at 8:28 a.m.