The White House and numerous Republican Senators expressed their satisfaction with the FBI report submitted after a 5-day long investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, even though the bureau did not interview him, his accuser, nor dozens of other witnesses.
The key holdouts, Maine Republican Susan Collins and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, called the investigation “thorough” and said it offered “no additional corroborating information,” The Washington Post reports. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the report included “no hint of misconduct.”
Democrats said that was not a surprise given the White House's efforts to protect Kavanaugh. Neither the judge nor his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, were interviewed by the FBI.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the restraints placed on the FBI.
“We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all of the facts,” he said at a news conference Thursday. “Those fears have been realized.”
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters that the FBI reached out to just 10 witnesses, none of whom corroborated Ford's account.
Delaware Democrat Chris Coons agreed that there was no corroboration but added, “you can’t find what you don’t look for.”
Coons, who was instrumental in reaching an agreement with Flake to delay a full Senate confirmation vote on Kavanaugh until an FBI probe was complete, said “this falls short of my expectations for this investigation.”
According to The Washington Post, the FBI interviewed three people who were at the gathering where Ford said the alleged sexual assault took place in 1982 and two other friends of Kavanaugh.
Ford's attorneys had urged FBI Director Chris Wray to interview eight other witnesses.
“The ‘investigation’ conducted over the past five days is a stain on the process, on the FBI and on our American ideal of justice,” the lawyers wrote to the FBI chief.
A lawyer for Deborah Ramirez, another woman who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her while in college, also sent a letter to Wray urging the FBI to interview 20 other witnesses.
“Fewer than four days, later, however, the FBI apparently has concluded its investigation — without permitting its agents to investigate,” the letter said. “We are deeply disappointed by this failure.”
The Washington Post also reports that the White House restricted the FBI from looking into Kavanaugh's drinking habits and possible disparities in his comments on the Senate.
On Wednesday, James Roche, Kavanaugh's former roommate at Yale, told CNN that the judge had lied under oath.
“Not only did I know he wasn’t telling the truth, I knew that he knew he wasn’t telling the truth,” Roche told Anderson Cooper, adding that he saw Kavanaugh drunk on multiple occasions, “incoherent, stumbling.”
“He would throw up, and then in the morning would have a lot of trouble getting out of bed,” Roche said. Roche said he was willing to speak to the FBI but was not given the opportunity.
Another former Yale roomate, Kenneth Appold, came forward to back Ramirez's account last week. Appold, who shared a room with Kavanaugh, told The New Yorker that he is “one-hundred-percent certain” he heard the account of Kavanaugh exposing himself to Ramirez a day or two after the incident.
“I can corroborate Debbie’s account,” he told the outlet. “I believe her because it matches the same story I heard thirty-five years ago, although the two of us have never talked.”
Appold, who went on to win two Fullbright Fellowships while earning a Ph.D. At Yale, also told the story to his grad school roommate, Michael Wetsone, decades earlier.
“It stood out in our minds because it was a shocking story of transgression,” Wetstone told The New Yorker.
Appold said he tried to reach out to the FBI but did not hear back.
“He drank a lot, and when he was drinking he could be aggressive, and belligerent,” Appold recalled. “He wasn’t beating people up, but there was an edge and an obnoxiousness that I could see at the hearings. When I saw clips I remembered it immediately.”
With Collins and Flake expressing satisfaction at the highly-limited and rushed FBI investigation, it appears that Kavanaugh is on track to be confirmed to the Supreme Court by a full Senate vote on Friday.
"This so-called 'investigation' is a complete sham," declared Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's former running-mate. "Why not do a real investigation? Why limit Senate access to the report? Why limit public access to it? There can only be one of two answers: the Republican majority doesn’t care about allegations of sexual assault, or they’re worried of what a true investigation would uncover.”