As I said in the previous post, the FBI needs to complete a background check of the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford before any testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
The FBI could discover circumstantial evidence which matches Dr. Blasey’s description of events and speak to other persons who were at the party in question who could corroborate Dr. Blasey’s description of events (she went upstairs with Kavanaugh and Judge, locked herself in a bathroom, fled the party, etc.) Someone at that party must have saw something. Republicans don’t want to take that risk.
Roll Call reports today that Dr. Blasey’s sexual assault was “chatter” among her classmates contemporaneously around the time that it occurred. Someone at that party must have saw something, and the White House by refusing to request the FBI to conduct a follow-up background investigation is actively engaged in a coverup. Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward:
A schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.
“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.
“This incident did happen,” Miranda wrote. “Many of us heard about it in school and Christine’s recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true.”
In order for this to have been chatter at the school contemporaneously around the time that it occurred, it means that someone at that party must have saw something and there are corroborating witnesses whom the FBI has not interviewed solely because the White House has refused to direct the FBI to do a follow-up background investigation.
Miranda, who works in Mexico City as a performing arts curator, described in her letter a rampant drinking culture among the elite prep schools in the Washington area.
She wrote that Kavanaugh should “admit his actions from so long ago, speak from the heart, and apologize” if he wants to be confirmed.
“Those would be the actions of a person we want in the Supreme Court,” she said.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California [a former prosecutor] retweeted an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter’s tweet containing a copy of Miranda’s Facebook post.
“The FBI needs to interview this witness,” Lieu wrote of Miranda, before asking, “Will more witnesses step forward?”
Lawyers for Ford want the FBI to investigate the allegation against Kavanaugh before she testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
They rejected a proposal from Chairman Charles E. Grassley of an open hearing on Monday in which Ford and Kavanaugh would testify about the alleged episode and answer lawmakers’ questions.
Sen. Grassley writes that his panel “cannot commandeer an Executive Branch agency” and ask them to do more work. The Latest: Grassley sends new offer to Kavanaugh accuser. No, but the president can. The onus is on the White House.
The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is offering in a letter to lawyers for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser to have his panel’s investigators interview her wherever she wants.
That includes having aides interview Christine Blasey Ford in California, where she lives, according to a person speaking anonymously because they weren’t authorized to discuss the plans publicly.
Chairman Chuck Grassley is also setting deadlines. His letter to Ford’s lawyers says his committee’s hearing on her allegations of sexual abuse will begin Monday morning. He says if she intends to testify, she must submit written testimony by Friday morning.
This Monday deadline is an arbitrary deadline imposed by GOP leadership from their political campaign calendar. It is irrelevant to the Senate’s advice and consent function to take as much time as necessary to discover the facts and to conduct a full and fair hearing for a judicial nominee.
The controversial Brett Kavanaugh previously went through two confirmation hearings over a period of three years before his confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He is used to waiting.
This confirmation needs to be delayed until the White House requests the FBI to conduct a follow-up background investigation, and the FBI has completed a thorough background investigation of the facts and all potential corroborating witnesses. Nothing less will suffice. Contact your senators.
UPDATE: (h/t Talking Points memo) It would take a simple request from Trump for the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background report file — the same file Ford’s letter alleging the sexual assault went into last week.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department didn’t immediately rule out this possibility, of gathering “more background reports,” when asked.
Read the DOJ’s full statement below:
“The Department of Justice and the FBI conduct background investigations in accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., and then-White House Counsel Robert F. Bauer in March 2010. The MOU provides as follows:
“‘[P]rior to an Appointee’s assuming the nominated position … if the FBI becomes aware of new information that raises questions about the suitability or trustworthiness of an Appointee … the FBI will so apprise the President or his designated representative as soon as possible.’
“The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation. The purpose of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States. On the night of September 12, the FBI received a letter dated from July 2018 alleging that the nominee engaged in an incident of misconduct in the 1980s. Consistent with the memorandum of understanding, the FBI forwarded this letter to the White House Counsel’s Office. The allegation does not involve any potential federal crime. The FBI’s role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers.”