Grassley: Secret FBI report ‘found no hint’ of Kavanaugh misconduct

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gives her opening statement at the US Senate Judiciary Committee

Both of Utah's Republican senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, said Thursday there's no evidence in a new FBI investigation to support the sexual assault allegations made against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Republicans say that Kavanaugh has been vetted more than enough - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said on Thursday morning that it's time to move on.

In a statement Wednesday night after McConnell set the vote in motion, Ford's counsel wrote: "An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony - can not be called an investigation".

The California psychology professor has testified that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually abused her in a locked room at a high school party in the 1980s and has said she believed he was trying to rape her. Kavanaugh has denied her assertions and those of two other women, who have accused him of other instances of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

The FBI's investigation will not be made public.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives to read the FBI's report on their investigation into sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2018.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans who said the midterm election was 'very important'.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who's considered the most vulnerable member of her party, announced Thursday she is a no vote.

The protester, referring to Kavanaugh, said "if he would take a polygraph it would all be over Senator".

However the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not examine allegations made by a third woman, Julie Swetnick, that Mr Kavanaugh was involved in the drugging and sexual assault of girls at house parties in the 1980s. He said he based his view on a briefing from committee aides and added, "This investigation found no hint of misconduct".

Lawyer Alan Abramson said he represented a friend of Ramirez's who was hoping to share an account of a conversation the two had in the early 1990s about an incident in her freshman year.

Senator Susan Collins surrounded by reporters asking her questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
JACQUELYN MARTIN APSenator Susan Collins surrounded by reporters asking her questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

White House spokesman Raj Shah said the Trump administration was "fully confident" Kavanaugh had the necessary support.

Democrats claimed throughout the week that the FBI's additional background check was not sufficient due to its limited scope. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said on NBC's Today show that the remarks were "kind of appalling".

Amid complaints that some lawmakers were being confronted outside their homes, McConnell claimed on the Senate floor that the protesters were "part of the organized effort" to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.

"All those mentioned above, and more, could easily have been interviewed in the time allotted" but were not, read the letter, sent by attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich, which was cc'd to top senators from both parties.

"So far I haven't heard back", Oh said Tuesday.

With Republicans clinging to a 51-49 Senate majority and five senators - including three Republicans - still publicly undeclared, the conservative jurist's prospects of Senate confirmation could hinge largely on the file's contents.

Speaking to reporters after reviewing the FBI report, Collins said it "appears to be a very thorough investigation". The FBI apparently did not talk speak with any of them.

Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia also has not declared how he'll vote.

Prof Ford's lawyer said eight people were not interviewed who could corroborate her claims, while Ms Ramirez's lawyer said more than 20 witnesses were not contacted.

On Wednesday, the three Republican senators key to Kavanaugh's approval blasted Trump for mocking Ford's memory lapses at a political rally.

"The harsh and unfair treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters", Trump added. 'I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh'.

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