Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday the FBI's investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh over alleged sexual assault uncovered nothing new and found “no hint of misconduct.”
“These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations,” Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement.
“There’s also no contemporaneous evidence. This investigation found no hint of misconduct and the same is true of the six prior FBI background investigations conducted during Judge Kavanaugh’s 25 years of public service.”
Grassley received a briefing Thursday morning from staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee on the FBI’s supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh. The White House ordered the FBI to re-open its investigation after Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in the summer of 1982.
Three others who Ford said attended the party, however, said they had no recollection of the gathering she described. They were all interviewed by the FBI, their respective lawyers said.
Ford and Kavanaugh both testified before the 21-member panel last week, during which Kavanaugh unequivocally denied the allegation.
The FBI had until Friday to complete its probe, but the White House received the supplemental background investigation early Thursday morning. It was then sent to the Senate, and all senators can review the FBI's report Thursday.
Ford's lawyers, though, criticized the FBI's probe in a statement Wednesday night.
"An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony — cannot be called an investigation," her attorneys said in a statement. "We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth."
Grassley said following completion of the FBI’s investigation it was time for the Senate to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and urged his fellow senators not to examine Kavanaugh’s nomination through a partisan lens.
“Fundamentally, we senators ought to wipe away the muck from all the mudslinging and politics and look at this nomination with clear eyes,” he said.
“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified nominees to ever come before the Senate. He’s served with distinction for twelve years on the nation’s most important circuit court and dedicated himself to serving the American public. We know that he will be an excellent justice because he’s been an excellent judge.”
Grassley said he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.