Attorneys representing Christine Blasey Ford sharply condemned the FBI background investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh late Wednesday, after the agency signaled that their probe was over without interviewing Ford, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for a Friday cloture – a key procedural vote that will pave the way for Kavanaugh’s final confirmation.
BREAKING: Senate Majority Leader McConnell files cloture to continue Senate confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh, setting up debate, followed by weekend voting on the nomination. pic.twitter.com/d4XwBVK8KF (NBC News)
— Frank Macek, WKYC Sr. Director (@frankmacekwkyc) October 4, 2018
“An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford– nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony– cannot be called an investigation,” said Ford’s attorneys in a statement. “We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth.”
Two senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee told Fox News on Wednesday that they’ve been instructed to plan on voting Sunday.
Sources previously told Fox News that Senators and some aides would be able to start looking at the FBI’s background investigation on Thursday morning and that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would be given the first chance to look at the report.
The bureau’s investigation, ordered last week by President Trump, was designed to look into allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Kavanaugh, who has been accused by three women of separate alleged incidents. Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come foward, testified before the Senate Judiciary last week about her claims. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations against him. –Fox News
McConnell statement on cloture: pic.twitter.com/g8T4wWQQbc
— Alex Leary (@learyreports) October 4, 2018
On Wednesday night, President Trump tweeted: “Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!”
Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2018
Earlier Wednesday we reported that the FBI was essentially finished with their supplemental report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, after which they will send a single copy to Capitol Hill where it will be held in a Senate Judiciary Committee safe, two senior Senate sources told Fox News.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Il), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that preparations are underway to review the report on Thursday, while Republicans are putting strict limits on the viewing.
According to Durbin, the one copy will be taken from the safe and made available to senators – with each party taking turns viewing it in one-hour increments.
“Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” he said. “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.
“We tried to reserve some time to read it. That is ridiculous,” he said. “One copy?!”
“Bizarre, it doesn’t make any sense,” he added. –The Hill
A senior Democratic aide confirmed the restrictive viewing conditions to The Hill, which notes that if all 100 senators decide to review the document and it takes each senator 30 minutes to read it, it could take up to 50 hours for the entire chamber to examine it.
“Do the math,” said Durbin. “That’s a lot of time.”
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) says that Senators will be able to view the FBI report in the “secure compartmented information facility” in the Capitol Visitor Center, which is large enough to hold a large group of senators. Corker has urged Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to make several copies.
Republican aides, however, say that alternating a single copy of an FBI background report between parties is typical practice for judicial nominees.
Judiciary Committee Republicans on Tuesday tweeted out a 2009 memorandum of understanding stating that photocopying or other reproduction of the FBI background reports is prohibited.
It also states that notes and memoranda derived from the contents of the FBI background investigation reports may be made and shall be destroyed or secured in the same manner as the reports themselves.
Reports are considered confidential Senate Judiciary Committee documents and unauthorized disclosure of them is subject to punishment under the Senate rules. –The Hill
It is unclear whether any of the FBI report will be made public, however Senator John Thune (R-SD), the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, told Fox News that “some of it will probably make its way out into the public and into the mainstream.”
“But most importantly, at least right now, is that all senators who are going to have the responsibility to vote on this nomination have an opportunity to review it, assess it and come to their own conclusions about what’s in there.”
And regardless of what the FBI concludes, we anticipate it won’t satisfy Democrats, who are already up in arms over the fact that the agency didn’t interview Kavanaugh accuser, Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh as part of the probe, with sources saying that their congressional testimony last week was sufficient.
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