Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Flake to '60 Minutes': Kavanaugh a 'Little Too Sharp,' But Response Understandable

Flake to '60 Minutes': Kavanaugh a 'Little Too Sharp,' But Response Understandable

The FBI has begun contacting people as part of an additional background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, including a second woman who alleges that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her, according to people familiar with the unfolding investigation.

Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Donnelly of IN announced their opposition before the Senate Judiciary Committee called for a supplemental, weeklong investigation by the FBI into some of the allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Judge Kavanaugh.

After three women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, lawmakers disagreed along party lines about how to proceed.

In an interview published Saturday in The Atlantic, Flake said his refusal to issue a vote on Kavanaugh without a week-long "pause" for an FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh was a last-ditch effort to overcome partisan battles that have plagued the confirmation process.

Media outlets including NBC News, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that the White House was controlling the FBI investigation, giving the FBI a list of witnesses and limiting its parameters.

The FBI also is following up on allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, who testified to the Senate this week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s when they were in high school in suburban Washington, District of Columbia.

Democrats urged the FBI to investigate Swetnick's claims and voiced concern that the White House may be narrowing the scope of the agency's work.

"I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion", the president tweeted late Saturday. In a tweet on Friday night, he said "just started, tonight, our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh". Following the agreement for the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh, the focus has moved to how the probe will be handled, its ultimate findings and whether it will put to rest fears about a lack of due diligence over the nominee for the nation's highest court.

However, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway added, "It's not meant to be a fishing expedition".

Former FBI director James Comey wrote in an op-ed Sunday that the FBI's background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will not be "as hard as Republicans hope it will be".

The Senate Judiciary Committee requested that the White House ask the FBI to conduct the supplemental investigation, which will be "limited to current credible allegations" and must be done by October 5. "I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp". At that time, the scope of the investigation was requested by Flake, Collins and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

"I've talked to Judge Kavanaugh", Kennedy said.

An attorney for Leland Keyser, a friend of Ford's who Ford says was at the party, said Keyser also was willing to cooperate with the FBI investigation.

Asked on Saturday about whether he needs a backup plan in the event that Kavanaugh's nomination fails, President Trump said, "I don't need a backup plan".

President Donald Trump ordered the FBI on Friday to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation after several women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

"It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation's most powerful judges,"he said".

"I think something bad could have happened the same summer she and I were 15, and that Judge Kavanaugh was not involved", Conway said.

Ford told the Senate judiciary committee that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge "were visibly drunk" and attacked her in one of the bedrooms at the house.

Flake, who prompted the new Federal Bureau of Investigation probe by threatening to withhold his vote to confirm Kavanaugh, said in a "60 Minutes" interview set to air Sunday that he found Kavanaugh's testimony Thursday to be "partisan" at times and that "his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp".

On Thursday, the Judiciary committee heard Ford testify that she's "one hundred percent" certain Kavanaugh attacked her in 1982 when they were teenagers, describing in detail being held down on a bed at a drunken high school gathering.

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