Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow talk about this FBI investigation:
As the F.B.I. began its investigation this weekend into allegations of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, several people who hope to contribute information about him to the F.B.I. said that they were unable to make contact with agents. President Trumphas promised to give the F.B.I. “free rein” in its probe, but the Times reported on Saturday that the White House had asked the F.B.I. to question only four witnesses. In the course of the next day, confusion spread about whom the F.B.I. would be interviewing, and Senate Democrats demanded that the White House provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with a copy of the written directive that it had sent to the F.B.I. regarding the investigation.
With a one-week deadline looming over the investigation, some who say they have information relevant to the F.B.I.’s probe are suspicious that the investigation will amount to what one of Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmates called a “whitewash.” Roberta Kaplan, an attorney representing one potential witness, Elizabeth Rasor, a former girlfriend of Kavanaugh’s high-school friend Mark Judge, said her client “has repeatedly made clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the F.B.I. that she would like the opportunity to speak to them.” But, Kaplan said, “We’ve received no substantive response.”
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge of being an accessory to Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault on her, in 1982, when they were all in high school. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied any role in the assault, and Judge, through his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, also has denied any recollection of it. Kaplan said that early this past week she began reaching out to the F.B.I. and to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Rasor’s behalf. “She feels a sense of civic duty to tell what she knows,” Kaplan said. “But the only response we’ve gotten are e-mails saying that our e-mails have been ‘received.’ ” At one point, she said, an F.B.I. official suggested she try calling an 800-number telephone tip line.
Debra Katz, the lead attorney for Ford, said that her client, too, had been willing to coöperate with the F.B.I.’s investigation, but as of Sunday the F.B.I. had not contacted her, despite Ford’s central role in the controversy. “We’ve tried repeatedly to speak with the F.B.I, but heard nothing back,” Katz said.
F.B.I. officials referred questions to the White House. The White House spokesman Raj Shah defended the process, and released a statement that placed responsibility for any limitations on the Senate. “The scope and duration has been set by the Senate. The White House is letting the FBI agents do what they are trained to do,” his statement said. Shah accused Senate Democrats of merely wanting to “further delay and politicize” the investigation rather than being genuinely concerned about its integrity.
Rasor dated Judge on and off for two to three years while they were students at Catholic University, and she is now a public-school teacher in New York. After hearing Judge’s denials, Rasor came forward, offering to give a sworn statement to the F.B.I. challenging Judge’s credibility. According to Kaplan, the F.B.I. has so far shown no interest in hearing what Rasor has to say, and efforts to contact the Bureau have gone nowhere.
A Yale classmate attempting to corroborate Deborah Ramirez’s account that, during her freshman year at Yale, Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face at a drunken party, said that he, too, has struggled unsuccessfully to reach the F.B.I. The classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, recalled hearing about Ramirez’s allegation either the night it happened or during the following two days. The classmate said that he was “one-hundred-per-cent certain” that he had heard an account that was practically identical to Ramirez’s, thirty-five years ago, but the two had never spoken about it. He had hoped to convey this to the F.B.I., but, when he reached out to a Bureau official in Washington, D.C., he was told to contact the F.B.I. field office nearest his home. When he tried that, he was referred to a recording. After several attempts to reach a live person at the field office, he finally reached an official who he said had no idea what he was talking about. At this point, he went back to the official at the F.B.I.’s D.C. headquarters, who then referred him, too, to an 800-number tip line. (He eventually left a tip through an online portal.)
“I thought it was going to be an investigation,” the Yale classmate said, “but instead it seems it’s just an alibi for Republicans to vote for Kavanaugh.” He said that he had been in touch with other classmates who also wanted to provide information corroborating Ramirez’s account, but that they had not done so.
One of the issues that was discussed over the weekend was the overt LYING that Kavanaugh did.
In plain terms, for all his spleen and outrage, Judge Kavanaugh lies about everything. In his earlier hearings, he lied about his judicial philosophy, and he lied about his days as a Republican operative, both in and out of the White House. On Monday, he lied to Martha McCallum of Fox News. On Thursday, he lied about his entire adolescence and his college days.
He lied even when he didn’t have to lie. He lied in preposterous ways easily disproven by common sense. (The “Devil’s Triangle”? “Renate Alumnius”?) He lied like a toddler, like a guilty adolescent, and like a privileged scion of the white ruling class, which is a continuum with which we all are far too familiar. He lied and he dared the Democratic members of the committee, and the country, to call him on his lies. And now, he is a couple of easy steps away from having lied his way into a lifetime seat on the United States Supreme Court. This guy is going to be deciding constitutional issues for the next four decades, and the truth is not in him.
Some say his lying (IF he lied) don’t make it more or less likely that he sexually assaulted Christine Ford, but of course, that’s not true. It explains why he might not REMEMBER assaulting Christine Ford.
But there is a larger issue — perjury is perjury.
And some at Yale are not coming out with stories of Kavanaugh as a belligerent and aggressive drunk.
In short, on Thursday, Kavanaugh revealed how much he shares the president’s intemperate disposition and contempt for democratic norms. He was as Trumpian as Trump could want. He made clear that he considers himself savagely wronged and that he will never let go of his searing anger.
That alone disqualifies him from a job that requires sober dispassion and an unshakable commitment to fairness. It would be supremely reckless to entrust the demands of justice to someone bent on revenge.
Why is the GOP fighting so hard for this guy? Certainly, there are other conservative judges who could easily pass confirmation, who don’t have the baggage. At this point, it seems like they want to pass him simply BECAUSE he has been attacked by the left.
Q: If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the Committee, nomination's over?— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 1, 2018
FLAKE: Oh yes.
COONS: I would think so. (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/mUPhpZsGty
BTW, here’s the SNL treatment:
FLAKE in Boston: “We’ll certainly, in the next couple of days, be having dialogue with the White House counsel’s office making sure that it is up to standard. It does not good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover…” pic.twitter.com/UR8YQTHzEY— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 1, 2018
As Brett Kavanaugh's college freshman roommate, I was never contacted by the FBI for any of their background checks. I assume college behavior was not a topic of interest. They did not find Debbie's story because they were not looking for it.— Jamie Roche (@jamie_roche) October 1, 2018
New Quinnipiac poll:— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 1, 2018
Voters oppose confirming Kavanaugh by 48-42
They believe most Christine Blasey Ford over Kavanaugh by 48-41
They want reopened FBI background check by 68-28
Indys oppose Kav by 49-39
Women oppose Kav by 55-37 pic.twitter.com/hHM5CyEse4
This, meanwhile, is troubling:
Susan Collins on whether she’s satisfied with scope of FBI investigation into Kavanaugh:— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 1, 2018
“I am confident that the FBI will follow up on any leads that result from the interviews,” per @tedbarrettcnn
Hmmm…. “breaking” news. Looks like the criticisms worked.
BREAKING: The White House told the FBI to interview anyone it wants in the Kavanaugh investigation after a backlash from Democrats. But agents must finish by Friday – NYT— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 1, 2018
The list of witnesses that the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee would like the FBI to interview
but the GOP will push this on through no matter what.
BREAKING: Top Senate Republican says that chamber will vote this week on Kavanaugh and that 'endless delays and obstruction' will end.— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 1, 2018