The White House has found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after examining interview reports from the FBI’s latest probe into the judge’s background, according to people familiar with the matter.
It was unclear whether the White House, which for weeks has raised doubts about the allegations, had completed its review of the FBI interview reports.
Still, the White House’s conclusions from the report aren’t definitive at this point in the confirmation process. Senators who will decide Mr. Kavanaugh’s fate are set to review the findings on Thursday, and some of them may draw different conclusions.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman, said on Twitter early Thursday that the committee had received the report.
The result could leave senators in much the same position as last week—faced with two witnesses providing mutually exclusive accounts and forced to decide between them. The investigation, which concluded two days before its Friday deadline, has faced mounting criticism in recent days from Democrats who have said the probe wasn’t appropriately comprehensive. Investigators spoke to one of the three women who made accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh.
Raj Shah, spokesman for the White House, said in a statement early Thursday morning: “The White House has received the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s supplemental background investigation into Judge Kavanaugh, and it is being transmitted to the Senate.”
He added that senators “have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation.” Mr. Shah continued: “With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”
President Trump late Wednesday tweeted praise for his Supreme Court nominee. “Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” he wrote, calling the judge “a fine man and great intellect.”
Republicans have said the extended background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a concession to Democrats and wavering Republicans, who demanded it and said its completion without a major revelation should allow Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to proceed to a Senate vote. Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee, where Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings were heard, have claimed that the White House imposed too many restrictions on who the FBI could interview—they didn’t talk to Christine Blasey Ford, Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, for instance—to make their inquiry’s findings credible.
Senators were expected to study the report at a secure location on Thursday. Three uncommitted Republicans—Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have said the FBI report would factor significantly into their decision.
Republicans have a narrow 51-49 edge in the Senate, so two defections would doom the nomination. In the event of a 50-50 tie, Vice President Mike Pence would cast a deciding vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s behalf. For more details, you can click here to continue reading with the Wall Street Journal.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 4th, 2018