Third Kavanaugh accuser to be excluded from FBI investigation

Maria Gallagher Facebook page

Maria Gallagher Facebook page

The FBI will not interview Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, according to multiple reports and Republican senator Lindsey Graham, highlighting the narrow scope of the agency's supplemental investigation into Donald Trump's supreme court nominee.

Flake, who is not seeking re-election, was instrumental in ensuring there would be a week-long FBI investigation, beginning this past Friday, into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Republicans and Kavanaugh's defenders have argued that because the alleged assault happened 36 years ago, Ford may be remembering it wrong, and that it should carry less weight compared to Kavanaugh's standing since then.

The lawyer for Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were students at Yale classmates, has agreed to co-operate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, her lawyer John Clune said Saturday.

A lawyer for PJ Smyth, another person whom Ms Ford said was in the house when she was attacked, said his client was "happy to cooperate fully with this FBI investigation".

Also Saturday, White House spokesman Raj Shah said: "The scope and duration has been set by the Senate".

"NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people", Trump tweeted. As part of that investigation, the FBI has contacted a second Kavanaugh accuser. 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.

The White House had no immediate comment about Ludington's accusations. This week on 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley asks the Republican senator how much that factored into his decision to delay a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

While the Senate, as well as women across the country, remain divided, the events on Thursday generated at least one common reaction. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. She said Kavanaugh and Judge were "extremely inebriated. and the other people at the party were not".

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Flake said he, too, didn't like Kavanaugh's mention of the Clintons, saying "it seemed partisan".

The FBI will do its job in an apolitical way and report its findings, including any new derogatory information about Kavanaugh, to the White House, said Ronald Hosko, a former senior FBI agent.

Other senators backed Flake's request, including Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, as well as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has been viewed as a possible vote for Kavanaugh. Judge has said he has no memory of such an assault ever occurring.

Following Flake's call for an FBI probe, US President Donald Trump ordered the agency to reopen the investigation that would be limited to one week.

Flake said he was overwhelmed by "the hearing itself, the aftermath of the hearing, watching pundits talk about it on cable TV, seeing the protesters outside, encountering them in the hall".

Judge said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not recall the party and never saw Kavanaugh act in the matter Ford has described.

The investigation is the result of a dramatic day in Washington on Friday that by all appearances began with quick movement towards Kavanaugh's confirmation and ended with a pause in the process while the FBI steps in.

Addressing Ford's testimony that Kavanaugh held her down on a bed, groped her and stopped her from screaming during a high school party in 1982, Flake said she was believable.

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