WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Thursday that the upper chamber will vote on Saturday on whether or not to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court after an FBI investigation ostensibly failed to corroborate the sexual misconduct and attempted rape accusations against him.
“What we know for sure is the FBI report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh,” McConnell said at a press conference, flanked by GOP senators on Thursday afternoon, adding that “there’s no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats.”
Kavanaugh has been publicly accused by three women of sexual misconduct, including Christine Blasey Ford, who last week testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee – along with the judge – to tell her version of his attempt to rape her that she claims took place at a 1982 student party.
The slim GOP 51-49 majority in the Senate means that the party cannot afford to lose the votes of any Republican lawmakers – whether by abstaining or voting no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.,
However, after the FBI investigation, which lasted just five days and apparently failed to interview all parties claiming to have information pertaining to the matter, two Republican senators who had not definitively said they would vote yes – Susan Collins and Jeff Flake – said that the information provided by the agency does not confirm the accusations against Kavanaugh.
“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,” said Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.
“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 added.
However, the social pressure against confirming Kavanaugh has increased in recent days with hundreds of demonstrations all around the country and a big march on Thursday in Washington.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told a press conference that he disagrees with Grassley’s statement that the FBI report found “no hint of misconduct” by Kavanaugh and he called for the report to be publicly released, along with the White House order to the FBI to conduct the investigation.
Schumer also criticized the investigation for being limited in scope and pointed to the White House as possibly being responsible for that, demanding that the parameters of the probe established by the White House be made public.
Senators received access to the FBI report on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, said that “The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it.”
Feinstein went on to note that the FBI did not interview Kavanaugh or Ford.