FBI Investigation of Brett Kavanaugh May Wrap Up Ahead of the Deadline - Even as Witnesses Say They Haven't Been Called
FBI investigators may soon finish up their background investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to multiple reports including the Wall Street Journal. The investigation may end as early as Tuesday night or Wednesday, the Journal found, despite the fact that its original mandate gave it until Friday.
GOP aides on the Hill and another person familiar with the process said they were expecting the bureau to conclude its report as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Agents had interviewed at least four key people as of Tuesday in its background investigation of Judge Kavanaugh. The White House had given the bureau until Friday to wrap up the probe.
Senators would then be shown the FBI's findings, but it wasn't clear if the public would get a look as well.
It's far from clear the investigators have done a thorough probe of the relevant evidence. For example, Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's first accuser, has said through her legal team has said they have not yet been reached by the FBI for an interview. Another woman, who claims to have evidence that may contradict Kavanaugh's testimony and is relevant to the claims of the second accuser, has likewise said that she received to a response from the bureau.
It's not yet entirely clear how broad a scope the FBI was given to investigate. Initially, reports found that the White House had strictly limited the probe, but after criticism, it seemed to relax its restrictions. However, investigators were reportedly not to investigate his history of drinking or his potentially false statement under oath, except as they directly pertain to the accusations against Kavanaugh.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is ready to bring the nomination to a vote this week. However, it's not clear it will succeed if he does — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) all remain undecided about supporting Kavanaugh. Without their votes, it is unlikely he would be confirmed.