Graham Clarifies Judiciary Committee’s FBI Request

SAYS MIDTERM ELECTIONS MAY PLAY A ROLE

by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 1, 2018) — On Monday night’s “Hannity,” Sen. Lindsey Graham provided more information as to the scope of the FBI’s seventh investigation into the background of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The probe was requested by Trump after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Kavanaugh’s nomination on Friday with the caveat that the FBI investigate current “credible” information that Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct in the early 1980s.

Never shy of the camera, Graham has become the face of Senate Republicans who have expressed outrage at how Kavanaugh has been treated since a September 16 allegation arose from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford via The Washington Post that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when he was 17 and she 15.

Graham explained to Hannity that the Judiciary Committee asked that the three witnesses Ford identified prior to her testimony last Thursday as having been at the gathering where the assault allegedly occurred be interviewed.

Ford accused Kavanaugh of assailing her while friend Mark Judge reportedly turned up music playing in the background, laughed, and then “jumped” on top of them in an upstairs bedroom of the unidentified home.

The three witnesses — PJ Smyth, Judge, and Leland Ingham Keyser, Ford’s reported “lifelong friend” — have been or are in the process of being interviewed by FBI agents, Graham said.  All previously said in sworn statements through their attorneys to the committee that they recall no such gathering.

Another request from the committee, Graham said, was for the FBI to check the committee’s background work on Ford’s accusation and that of a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, who said that Kavanaugh committed a sexual act while at a college party and Ramirez had been drinking.

Kavanaugh has categorically denied all of the accusations, including those made by a third woman, Julie Swetnick, who claimed that Judge and Kavanaugh attended parties wherein young women who were likely underage were drugged and abused systematically during the early 1980s.

In an interview with MSNBC‘s Kate Snow aired Monday, Swetnick claimed to remember where Kavanaugh and Judge were standing at the alleged “parties” as females were reportedly having their drinks “spiked.”  Snow said that out of four witnesses Swetnick identified and MSNBC attempted to reach, one denied knowing her; one is deceased; and two did not return calls prior to air time.

Swetnick claimed that it was widely known that such parties were taking place.  Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, has been indignant on Twitter that his client has not heard from the FBI.

On Friday, the Montgomery County Police Department said it would act on any complaints filed alleging wrongdoing in its jurisdiction despite the exhaustion of what was once a one-year statute of limitations on sexual assault.  Last year, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a new bill removing all time limitations on the crime.

On Monday Avenatti said he and Swetnick “may” file a criminal complaint.

Judiciary Committee Democrats are now calling for an expanded FBI inquiry despite Sen. Jeff Flake’s brokering of an agreement that it would last no more than one week.  Some have made the case that Kavanaugh was not honest during his testimony about the level of his high-school and college drinking and therefore deserves to be impeached.

At an earlier press conference on the new trade agreement announced Sunday night with Canada, President Trump said that he has not placed limits on the FBI’s mission and would like to see all plausible leads pursued.  However, he stressed that he believes a short time frame will provide Kavanaugh and his family with the closure they deserve in regard to the nomination.

Kavanaugh has served for 12 years on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.  In his emotional rebuttal to the women’s allegations Thursday, Kavanaugh said that he would not be intimidated into withdrawing from the process and would defend his family and integrity.

In earlier statements, Graham has said that he has known Kavanaugh for “20 years.”  He suggested Monday night, if after the probe is completed and Kavanaugh does not obtain the necessary 51 votes for confirmation, that Trump “renominate” him and take his case “to the American people” by means of the midterm elections on November 6.

 

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