UPDATE: President Donald Trump ordered the FBI to conduct an additional background investigation into his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, who faces several sexual misconduct allegations.
“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump’s action followed an extraordinary call from several key Republican senators to enlist the FBI to gather more information about the alleged incidents involving Kavanaugh when he was in high school and college before the Senate holds a vote on his confirmation.
ORIGINAL: Although Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday morning on an 11-10 party-line vote, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who supported the nomination, said he wants a one-week delay in the full Senate vote to allow for an FBI investigation.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, backed the Arizona Republican’s push for a delay, jeopardizing GOP support to bring a quick confirmation vote the floor of the Senate.
On Thursday, Dr. Christine Blasely Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee alleging Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in 1982. She testified that she thought he was “accidentally going to kill” her.
Kavanaugh denied the sexual assault allegation in a 40-minute opening statement in which he vacillated between shouting and tears, calling the allegations a conspiracy and accusing the Democrats of lying in wait to destroy him.
(NBC, CNN & Staff Reports) Up until this morning, Mark Judge, who Ford claims was there when Kavanaugh assaulted her, had refused to testify and sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming he fights depression and is a recovering alcoholic so it wouldn’t be good for him to do so.
But this afternoon, CNN reported Barbara Van Gelder, attorney for Mark Judge, who Ford claims was there when Kavanaugh assaulted her, said Judge will “answer any and all questions posed to him,” if the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests his cooperation.
The reopening of the FBI investigation will be up to President Trump, and he will determine whether it is limited to Ford’s allegations or also will encompass allegations from other women who have come forward since Ford.