The week-long FBI investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has concluded. The report was finished Thursday (for comparison, the search for Russian Collusion and Barack Obama’s real birth certificate is still ongoing). Here’s everything we know.
There’s only one copy of the FBI report.
I’m not joking.
There is literally only one copy of the FBI report and it’s in a room in the Capitol. Congress members will be rotated in and out of the room throughout the day to take a look.
According to CNN, “Judiciary Committee Republican staff got the first look at the FBI’s findings starting at 8 a.m. ET. At 9 a.m. ET, Democrats took over the room. Control of the room is scheduled to rotate, every other hour, for the rest of Thursday with most, if not all, of the 51-senator GOP conference is expected to file into the room at 10 a.m.”
The FBI report is over 1,000 pages long and is being held in a secure room inside the Capitol to prevent leaks.
No one can agree on what the report concludes.
Republicans believe that the document proves that Kavanaugh is a squeaky clean candidate who needs to be confirmed. Democrats don’t believe that the report was a truly comprehensive investigation.
Who did the FBI interview?
According to the New York Times, the FBI interviewed nine people.
- Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party when they were at Yale University.
- Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s who Ford says was in the room when she was assaulted.
- Leland Keyser, a high-school friend of Ford’s who she says was at the party where Ford says Kavanaugh assaulted her.
- PJ Smyth, another classmate of Ford and Kavanaugh’s who Ford says was at the party.
- Five other people who were not named.
The FBI did not interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to claim that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her during a party while both were in high school.
Who didn’t the FBI interview?
According to the Washington Post, here’s a list of the people who we know have not been interviewed:
- A suitemate of Kavanaugh’s has now told the New Yorker he remembers hearing at the time about the incident Deborah Ramirez has recounted. Ramirez, who has been interviewed, had claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a dorm party at Yale. The suitemate, Kenneth G. Appold, now says he is “one-hundred-per-cent certain” that he was told the culprit was Kavanaugh. He does say he never discussed this with Ramirez, but he claims an eyewitness described the episode to him at the time. Appold has tried to share this story with the FBI, but there’s no indication the FBI is willing to hear from him.
- A classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Prep now strongly challenges one of Kavanaugh’s assertions under oath. The person told the New Yorker that he heard Kavanaugh talk repeatedly about Renate Dolphin as someone “that everyone passed around for sex” (the witness’ words), and even heard Kavanaugh singing a rhyme that included the words “you wanna get laid, you can make it with REE-NATE.” Kavanaugh (and many others) described themselves in their yearbook as a “Renate Alumnius,” but Kavanaugh has denied under oath that this was a sexual reference, claiming, ludicrously, that it was intended to show “affection.”
- This classmate is not named by the New Yorker. But he put his name on a statement to the FBI and Judiciary Committee that makes this claim, and he is prepared to talk to the FBI. There is no indication this happened.
- James Roche, one of Kavanaugh’s roommates at Yale, has written a piece for Slate that claims Kavanaugh lied under oath about his use of slang and his drinking. Roche claims that Kavanaugh “regularly” blacked out. Roche has offered to talk to the FBI, but there’s no indication this happened.
- Roche also pointedly added of Kavanaugh: “He said that ‘boofing’ was farting and the ‘Devil’s Triangle’ was a drinking game. ‘Boofing’ and ‘Devil’s Triangle’ are sexual references. I know this because I heard Brett and his friends using these terms on multiple occasions.” Roche concluded that Kavanaugh “has demonstrated a willingness to be untruthful under oath about easily verified information.”
- NBC News reports that the FBI has not contacted dozens of people who could potentially corroborate the allegations against Kavanaugh or testify to his behavior at the time. This includes many people who knew either Ford or Ramirez at the time, and people who actually approached the FBI offering information.
- The Post reports that Ramirez’s lawyers provided the FBI with a list of more than 20 people who might have relevant information, but “as of Wednesday, Ramirez’s team had no indication that the bureau had interviewed any of them.”
What does this mean for the swing votes?
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) were the two most prominent Republicans whose votes remained undecided and strongly hinged on the FBI reports.
Flake said Thursday “that a new FBI report on Brett Kavanaugh has failed to corroborate Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee,” the Hill reports.
Collins has called the FBI report a thorough investigation and while neither Flake nor Collins has said where their votes will land, I think all signs are pointing to both of them voting in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Christine Blasey Ford is still waiting for someone to interview her.
Brett Kavanaugh could not be reached for comment, as he was being fitted for a new robe.