Colorado woman interviewed by FBI as part of Kavanaugh assault probe
FBI agents interviewed one of the three women who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as Republicans and Democrats quarreled over whether the bureau would have enough time and freedom to conduct a thorough investigation before a high-stakes vote on his nomination to the nation’s highest court.
The White House insisted it was not “micromanaging” the new one-week review of Kavanaugh’s background but some Democratic lawmakers claimed the White House was keeping investigators from interviewing certain witnesses. President Donald Trump, for his part, tweeted that no matter how much time and discretion the FBI was given, “it will never be enough” for Democrats trying to keep Kavanaugh off the bench.
And even as the FBI explored the past allegations that have surfaced against Kavanaugh, another Yale classmate came forward to accuse the federal appellate judge of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the extent of his drinking in college.
In speaking to FBI agents, Deborah Ramirez detailed her allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s when they were students at Yale University, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of a confidential investigation.
The person familiar with Ramirez’s questioning, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said she also provided investigators with the names of others who she said could corroborate her account.
Ramirez, a longtime Boulder resident, was the second woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, has not been contacted by the FBI since Trump on Friday ordered the agency to take another look at the nominee’s background, according to a member of Ford’s team.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations brought forward by Ramirez and Ford, and in Friday's hearing called allegations by a third woman, Julie Swetnick, a "joke." Swetnick has also not been contacted by the FBI, according to her attorney, Michael Avenatti.
In a statement released Sunday, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s said he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.” Charles “Chad” Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was a friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale and that Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.”
“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” Ludington said.
While saying that youthful drinking should not condemn a person for life, Ludington said he was concerned about Kavanaugh’s statements under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrats have argued Kavanaugh's drinking habits are relevant to the investigation because of the nature of the accusations, all of which center around alleged behavior at parties.
Speaking to the issue of the scope of the FBI’s investigation, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said White House counsel Don McGahn, who is managing Kavanaugh’s nomination, “has allowed the Senate to dictate what these terms look like, and what the scope of the investigation is.”
“The White House isn’t intervening. We’re not micromanaging this process. It’s a Senate process. It has been from the beginning, and we’re letting the Senate continue to dictate what the terms look like,” Sanders said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office declined to elaborate Sunday on which allegations would be investigated, reiterating only that it would focus on “current credible allegations.” Stewart said the investigation’s scope “was set” by the three GOP senators Friday and “has not changed.”
But Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, a Judiciary Committee member, doubted how credible the investigation will be, given the time limit.
“That’s bad enough, but then to limit the FBI as to the scope and who they’re going to question, that - that really - I wanted to use the word farce, but that’s not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct,” she said.