WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Monday that he wants the FBI investigation into alleged attempted rape and sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be “comprehensive,” but he added that the probe must conclude “quickly” and not become a “witch hunt.”
At a Rose Garden press conference, Trump said that he has no problem with the FBI investigating the accusations made by three women who have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, although he left determining the scope of the probe to Senate Republicans, who hold a majority in the upper house.
“My White House will do whatever the senators want,” Trump said. “The one thing I want is speed.”
“We don’t want to go on a witch hunt, do we?” he added.
Trump said, however, that he wants the FBI investigation to be finalized quickly because the confirmation process to date has been “so unfair” to Kavanaugh and his family.
The FBI investigation is to be completed by Friday, Oct. 5, at the latest, whereupon the FBI will provide the information it has gathered to lawmakers and the White House.
The president said that it “wouldn’t bother me at all” for the FBI to investigate the claims of the first two women to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual improprieties – Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez – and perhaps the third, Julie Swetnick, although he said he had heard that the latter’s claim has “very little credibility.”
“The FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer,” said the president, albeit – he added – within the limits of what the Senate has established.
Ford accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when he was drunk at a high school party when he was 17 and she was 15, while Ramirez accuses him of exposing himself to her – again while he was drunk – at a college party, both incidents occurring in the 1980s.
Trump bowed on Friday to Senate pressure and ordered an FBI probe of the accusations, but since then neither Ford nor her legal team have been contacted by investigators, according to MSNBC.
The president said he did not want to talk about “Plan B,” that is to say what he would do if the accusations against Kavanaugh were upheld, adding that he hopes that the Senate confirms him to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.