Former FBI official: Heres how I would investigate the Kavanaugh allegations

Former FBI official: Here\s how I would investigate the Kavanaugh allegations

Brett Kavanaughs classmate says he lied about drinking

Deborah Ramirez alleges supreme court nominee exposed himself to her in the early 1980s – another Yale classmate says Kavanaugh was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker

Read more Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, called on the White House and the FBI to make available the written directive regarding the investigations scope. In a letter on Sunday, she also asked for updates on any expansion of investigation.

Brett Kavanaugh belligerent and aggressive after heavy drinking, ex-classmate says

The White House insisted it was not steering the FBIs work, in which agents on Sunday interviewed Deborah Ramirez, one of three women who have accused Donald Trumps second supreme court pick of sexual misconduct.

Indeed, the Times has reported that Senate Republicans identified a list of just four witnesses: Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth, high school friends of Judge Kavanaughs; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of one of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct; and Deborah Ramirez, another of the judges accusers. The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the FBIs thinking reported that the bureau planned to stick to the people and topics directed from the White House unless the White House changes its mind.

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Ramirez alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dorm room party when they were at Yale in the early 1980s.

When Ramirez spoke to FBI agents, she detailed her allegation, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of a confidential investigation who spoke to the Associated Press. The source said Ramirez also provided the names of others she said could corroborate her account.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee reopened the investigation, it acted for the greater good, recognizing that confirming Judge Kavanaugh under the cloud of allegations would be damaging to the Supreme Court, Congress and the country. Following that triumph of fairness, it is now imperative that the F.B.I.s supplementary investigation be legitimate and thorough, and be perceived as such. That simply cannot happen if the bureau is limited to a short list of witnesses preselected by the White House.

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Another Yale classmate came forward, meanwhile, to accuse Kavanaugh of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate judiciary committee about the extent of his drinking in college.

ImageCreditCreditTom Brenner for The New York TimesThe relentlessly partisan Supreme Court confirmation process seemed to take a welcome bipartisan turn on Friday night when, in a dramatic reversal on the part of Jeff Flake, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that it would ask the F.B.I. to reopen the background investigation into Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But by Sunday the Democrats were dismissing the investigation as a farce — and rightly so.

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In his statement, Charles Chad Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale. Ludington said he was a friend at Yale, when Kavanaugh was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.

The nucleus of agents work in a background investigation is to pursue leads and widen the circle of witnesses. Thus, F.B.I. agents doing background investigations typically end with the all-important question: Is there anyone else I should talk to? They begin with the set of names the subject has supplied, but then, crucially, follow the evidence and witnesses where they lead.

On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer, Ludington said. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive.

FBI probe is the next battle in war over Kavanaugh

While saying youthful drinking should not condemn a person for life, Ludington said he was concerned about Kavanaughs statements under oath.

And, of course, to pursue Dr. Fords basic account, the F.B.I. has to be able to branch out — to the Safeway where Mr. Judge worked, to other students who might be able to help them identify the house where the party Dr. Ford describes occurred, and to Chris Garrett, Dr. Fords former boyfriend who supposedly introduced her to Judge Kavanaugh.

In that Senate judiciary committee hearing last Thursday, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh, Dr Christine Blasey Ford, detailed the attempted rape she said happened at a house party in 1982.

Generally, but not always, the White House would determine the subject matter focus for the investigation. Sometimes it would set a quick turnaround. But never in my experience would the White House tell the F.B.I. who to interview or not interview. That ties agents hands before they even start their work.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Yale 10 Lawrance Hall, the dormitory where Deborah Ramirez says the supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when she was a first-year student at Yale in the 1980s. Photograph: Josh Wood for the Observer Ford has not been contacted by the FBI since Friday, according to a member of her team. On Monday morning Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for another woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Julie Swetnick, said his client had not been contacted either.

Posting a portion of the statement in which Swetnick says Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present at parties in the same early 1980s years at which drunken girls were gang-raped, Avenatti wrote: It is outrageous that my client has not been contacted by the FBI because [Donald] Trump is instructing them not to. He is trying to ram through a nomination by purposely preventing the truth from being known. This is a threat to our very democracy.

A number of candidates ran into some controversy, generally on issues of finances, criminal history or personal misconduct. The standard procedure in such instances was for the White House to request (i.e., order) a follow-up background investigation.

Another classmate says Kavanaugh “belligerent and aggressive drunk” who threw beer in mans face

He added: Be clear: 1. I CANNOT just walk my client into an FBI office. We tried that. They claim they dont have jurisdiction and they refuse to take a stmt. 2. While we may file a criminal complaint, that will have no bearing on any vote due to timing. We will proceed with other options.

Such constraints are very unusual, if not unprecedented for such an investigation. And they sharply reduce the prospects that the bureau will generate the sort of information that the Judiciary Committee has requested and the country deserves to have.

Read more In Boston, meanwhile, hundreds gathered ahead of a speaking engagement in the city by Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who demanded the FBI investigation after voting for Kavanaughs nomination to proceed to the Senate floor.

I oversaw the vetting of many dozens of judicial candidates when I was a deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice. I also was regularly involved in background investigations by the F.B.I. when I was a United States attorney.

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Ed Markey, the junior Massachusetts senator, told protesters he was calling for no duration limit on the FBIs work.

We thank the survivors, he said. Dr Ford was empowered and she was courageous. She had nothing to gain and everything to lose. She stepped forward to tell her story. Now others are stepping forward to tell their stories about Brett Kavanaugh.

Bostons mayor, Martin Walsh, also spoke. He wanted to thank Flake, he said, for asking the question but thats your job. Thats your job, to vet the nominee in that committee. The Arizona senator, he said, could now do a very special thing next week and vote against Kavanaugh.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he wants the F.B.I. to interview whoever they deem appropriate. But so far his tweet is the only indication that this is true.

In the crowd, Melissa Tully and Mary Power, both from Hingham, Massachusetts, were holding #stopkavanaugh signs. Tully said she had experienced sexual harassment in college, but nothing compared to what Ford experienced.

Tully said: I think Judge Kavanaugh did not answer many questions directly and disassembled questions in his response. As a judge he knows the difference between the word refute and the phrase I dont remember being there.

Harry Litman (@harrylitman) is a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general.

A Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaughs said he was “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale” during Kavanaughs defense against sexual assault allegations in the media and at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“If you’re very confident of your position, and you appear to be, why aren’t you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, pressed Kavanaugh during Thursday’s tense hearing. The next day, at GOP Sen. Jeff Flake's urging, President Trump ordered the FBI to open such a "supplemental" background investigation.

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Charles “Chad” Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said that he was a friend of Kavanaughs 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,” Ludington said. “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive.” While saying that youthful drinking should not condemn a person for life, Ludington said he was concerned about Kavanaughs statements under oath before the committee.

Over the weekend, a Yale friend of Kavanaugh’s, Charles Ludington, said in a statement he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.” He said Kavanaugh was a “frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker,” and he planned to give a statement to the FBI saying so.

“Brett was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker,” Luddington, who said he drank with Kavanaugh wrote.

“For goalpost-moving Democrats & your media wing,” Cotton tweeted. “I’ve been interviewed many times for FBI background checks for classmates, soldiers, & nominees. Every time, agent asked about any drinking problems. You really think FBI missed that in SIX background checks of Judge Kavanaugh?”

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“On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the mans face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail,” Luddington continued.

“It’s not just that they aren’t allowed to investigate the third accuser’s claims,” NBC’s Ken Dilanian tweeted. “They also won’t look into his drinking at Yale or pull Mark Judge’s employment records or take other basic investigative steps, we are told.”

Luddington further attacked one of the key points in Kavanaughs defense of himself and denial of allegations — that he had never lost memory while drinking.

“I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth,” Luddington wrote.

FBI agents have interviewed one of the three women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as Republicans and Democrats quarrel over whether the bureau has enough time and freedom to conduct a thorough investigation before a high-stakes vote on his nomination to the nations highest court.

The White House insisted it was not “micromanaging” the new one-week review of Kavanaughs 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.

Flake himself called for the FBI to wrap up its investigation in a week or less, while investigating just the accusations. But Democrats have since cried foul over those limits – saying the FBI should be not be restricted in time or subject.

In speaking with 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.

CNBC’s John Harwood argued on Twitter, “his drinking relates directly to a) sexual misconduct he’s accused of from his high school/college days, and b) the truthfulness of his sworn testimony last week.”

The person familiar with Ramirezs questioning, who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said she also provided investigators with the names of others who she said could corroborate her account.

"A fundamental question the FBI can help answer is whether Judge Kavanaugh has been truthful with the committee,” Sanders said. “This goes to the very heart of whether he should be confirmed to the court.”

From A Sham Hearing To A Sham Investigation

But 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 nominees background, according to a member of Fords team.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee used last week’s hearing over the accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to push a unified message: the FBI must investigate the allegations.

Speaking to the issue of the scope of the FBIs investigation, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the White House counsel, Don McGahn, who is managing Kavanaughs nomination, “has allowed the Senate to dictate what these terms look like and what the scope of the investigation is.”

Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton dismissed those calls, suggesting the FBI likely has asked about Kavanaugh’s drinking in previous background investigations – as is standard practice.

Video: FBI interviews Kavanaughs Yale classmate

Dianne Feinstein demands White House directive to FBI on Kavanaugh

“The White House isnt intervening,” Sanders said. “Were not micromanaging this process. Its a Senate process. It has been from the beginning, and were letting the Senate continue to dictate what the terms look like.”

“No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation," an attorney for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Ford, Debra S. Katz, said in a Friday statement.

The White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said the investigation would be “limited in scope” and would “not be a fishing expedition,” adding that the FBI was “not tasked to do that.”

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, who played an instrumental role in getting Flake to back the probe, said he’s optimistic new information will be learned as a result of the investigation.

Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, requested an investigation last Friday — after he and other Republicans on the panel voted along strict party lines in favor of Kavanaughs confirmation — as a condition for his subsequent vote to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

“We may well be in a different place a week from now because Judge Kavanaugh and his family may well have had exculpatory evidence brought forward,” he said.

Another Republican committee member, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said Sunday that testimony would be taken from Ramirez and Kavanaughs high-school friend Mark Judge, who has been named by two of three women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Left-leaning journalists also have complained that the investigation won’t focus enough on Kavanaugh’s drinking habits in high school and college.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called on the White House and the FBI to provide the written directive regarding the investigations scope. In a letter Sunday, she also asked for updates on any expansion of the original directive.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Sunday she was confident in the investigation and “that the FBI will follow up on any leads that result from the interviews.” Collins supports the new FBI investigation and is among a few Republican and Democratic senators who have not announced a position on Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh was heavy drinker, often belligerent at Yale, NC State professor says

Republicans control 51 seats in the closely divided 100-member Senate and cannot afford to lose more than one vote on confirmation.

In other cases, Democrats who enthusiastically called for an FBI investigation last week now seem to be downplaying it.

Senate Republicans discussed the contours of the investigation with the White House late Friday, according to a person familiar with the call who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Brett Kavanaughs Lies Are Catching Up With Him

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had gathered Judiciary Committee Republicans in his office earlier. At that time, the scope of the investigation was requested by Flake, Collins, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, McConnells spokesman Don Stewart said.

The FBI Spoke With Deborah Ramirez, Who Says Brett Kavanaugh Exposed Himself To Her At A Party

Murkowski is not on the committee but also has not announced how she will vote on Kavanaughs confirmation.

Republicans later called the White House to discuss the scope of the investigation, the person said.

McConnells office declined to elaborate Sunday on which allegations would be investigated, reiterating only that it would focus on “current credible allegations.” Stewart said the investigations 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 would be, given the time limit.

“Thats bad enough, but then to limit the FBI as to the scope and who theyre going to question, that — that really — I wanted to use the word farce, but thats not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct,” she said.

Kavanaugh classmate to tell FBI of nominees violent drunken behavior in college

Trump initially opposed such an investigation as allegations began mounting but relented and ordered one on Friday. He later said the FBI had “free rein.”

“Theyre going to do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do — theyll be doing things that we have never even thought of,” Trump said Saturday as he departed the White House for a trip to West Virginia. “And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”

He revisited the “scope” question later Saturday on Twitter, writing in part, “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”

White House not micromanaging Kavanaugh probe, Trump administration officials say

Sanders said Trump, who has vigorously defended Kavanaugh but also raised the slight possibility of withdrawing the nomination should damaging information be found, “will listen to the facts.”

The third woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh and Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a “joke.” Judge has said he “categorically” denies the allegations.

Swetnicks attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Saturday that his client had not been contacted by the FBI but was willing to cooperate with investigators.

Ford also has said Judge was in the room when a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Judge has said he will cooperate with any law-enforcement agency that will “confidentially investigate” sexual-misconduct allegations against him and Kavanaugh. Judge has also denied misconduct allegations.

Sanders spoke on “Fox News Sunday,” Conway appeared on CNNs “State of the Union,” and Graham and Hirono were interviewed on ABCs “This Week.”

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