Senate Democrats were already voicing concern Thursday morning about what they called the limited scope of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The FBI’s report following its weeklong look at sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez was delivered early Thursday to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are reviewing its findings. President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that the allegations against Kavanaugh, which he has denied, are “totally uncorroborated.”
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Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on MSNBC Thursday that while he had not seen the report yet, he was “very concerned by reports that the scope was narrowed and that only a few, fewer than 10, individuals were interviewed.”
Coons added that “an obvious component of a credible investigation would have been the witnesses that Dr. Ford offered” to support her claim that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party when they were both in high school. He said the investigation also should have included former Yale classmates of Kavanaugh who have said publicly that they tried to reach the FBI with stories about his behavior.
Lawmakers requested the FBI investigation after a hearing last week with both Ford and Kavanaugh. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and other senators said they wanted to hear from people who were not part of that hearing. But Democrats have since questioned why Ford and Kavanaugh, among others, weren’t interviewed by the FBI as part of the follow-up investigation.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who is also on the Judiciary Committee, told CNN Thursday morning that it was “unacceptable there were only a handful of witnesses interviewed.”
White House spokesperson Raj Shah defended the investigation, noting that the Senate provided an initial list of people they wanted interviewed, and he said a total of 10 people were contacted as part of the probe.
He said the FBI fulfilled the requirements of a background investigation, noting that the process is different than a criminal probe, which has not been undertaken.
“It doesn’t seek to find a specific outcome,” he told CNN. “It seeks to find information for decision makers. The Senate has set a scope on what they are interested in.”