- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Thursday the FBI’s updated background report doesn’t provide any new evidence to corroborate the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Mr. Grassley, the Iowa Republican in charge of shepherding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, said there’s “no hint of misconduct” after a dayslong review of allegations of sexual assault at a high school party, made by Christine Blasey Ford, or that the judge exposed himself at a college party, made by Deborah Ramirez.

“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,” he said.

The report was finalized overnight and senators were getting their first look at it Thursday morning.

Anti-Kavanaugh activists were not swayed by the lack of corroboration in the report. Hundreds mobbed the office buildings in the Capitol complex Thursday afternoon loudly demanding senators vote against the judge.

U.S. Capitol Police officers were escorting some protesters out in handcuffs.

Senators, meanwhile, were taking turns looking at the single copy of the FBI’s report, held in a special secure room.

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been held up while senators debate the allegations about decades-old partying and sexual improprieties. The issue has been compounded by the judge’s admitted affinity for beer.

Democrats complained the report did not include interviews with Ms. Blasey Ford nor with Judge Kavanaugh themselves. They said the FBI seemed to have been ordered to limit its review.

“The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Ms. Blasey Ford gave compelling testimony last week about a party in 1982 where she says Judge Kavanaugh groped her, tried to strip off her clothes and stifled her cries for help. But none of the witnesses she identified as being at the party have been able to corroborate her story, and there is no contemporaneous evidence to back her up.

Democrats said without talking to Ms. Blasey Ford or seeing her documents, including therapy notes and a polygraph exam she arranged to take in August, investigators aren’t getting the full picture.

Democrats’ leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who said he had been briefed on the report, said he disagreed with Mr. Grassley’s assertion that the FBI found no evidence of any problems with the judge’s past.

He would not divulge what he meant by that, but said he wanted to see a redacted version of the report made public.

“Why shouldn’t all of America see the facts?” he said.

Republicans, though, said they trusted the FBI to follow the leads it thought best.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, emerged from his briefing on the report to say the FBI talked with 10 new witnesses and had whatever latitude it needed.

“I learned nothing I didn’t already know,” he concluded.

He said the information, particularly from Leland Keyser, a longtime Blasey Ford friend who she says was at the party where the assault happened, “reinforced” Judge Kavanaugh’s vehement denials.

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