FBI's Kavanaugh investigation appears narrow in scope

Rachel Mitchell questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

In a stunning reversal on Friday, the Senate judiciary committee asked the Trump administration to order the FBI to investigate the misconduct allegations - but only after the panel sent Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate for a final vote. She alleged in a report published on September 23 by The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, shoved his penis in her face, forcing her to touch it while pushing him away. Swetnick is one of the women who has publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Democrats urged the FBI to investigate Swetnick's claims and voiced concern that the White House may be narrowing the scope of its work. Several Republican leaders joined Flake in his promise, thus ensuring President Trump would order the FBI to investigate.

"'You've known me a very long time and I was raped as a child and I have never told anyone before right now, and I'm sharing it with you, '" the DE senator said.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for a third Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick, said in an email to Reuters that his client has not been contacted by investigators. Following the agreement for the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh, the focus has moved to how the probe will be handled, its ultimate findings and whether it will put to rest fears about a lack of due diligence over the nominee for the nation's highest court.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House "is not micromanaging this process".

On Friday, Republicans on the committee voted to proceed to a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, but a series of back-room negotiations led to a surprise twist in what has already been a wrenching confirmation process for a Supreme Court nominee, among the most polarizing in recent memory.

One of the women who scolded Republican Sen.

"I wonder - could you have done this if you were running for re-election?"

The FBI and a spokesman for the Senate judiciary committee did not immediately return requests for comment about the Times report.

With the stakes high, the Judiciary Committee's preliminary vote took place amid extraordinary tension.

More news: It’s National Coffee Day: That means free and discounted java!

Kavanaugh wouldn't answer directly when he was asked Thursday if he would agree to an FBI investigation, but said he would do whatever the Judiciary Committee wanted.

"I've talked to Judge Kavanaugh", Kennedy said.

"Dr. Ford's lawyer [sic] says she has not been contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation". Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said last week they interviewed two men who said they might have had the encounter with Ford that she described, but no Republican senator has lent any credence to those claims. Jeff Flake, whose stunning move to force an investigation was quickly backed by several senators considered swing votes on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Republicans control 51 seats in the closely divided 100-member Senate and can not afford to lose more than one vote on confirmation. Swetnick said further that over a series of parties, she saw Kavanaugh "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s". Judge has said in written statements that he does not recall the incident; Senate Republicans declined to call him to testify.

"I just knew that we couldn't move forward, that I couldn't move forward without hitting the pause button", he said, adding that he believes that the Kavanaugh saga is "ripping the country apart".

President Donald Trump ordered the new background investigation of his nominee on Friday under pressure from key members of his party.

A woman has accused a Washington state lawmaker of raping her 11 years ago, saying she was inspired to speak out as she watched the televised allegations against Kavanaugh.

Swetnik claimed that she was raped by such a group at a party where Kavanaugh and Judge were present.

At a dramatic televised hearing on Thursday, university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused the judge of pinning her down and assaulting her in the 1980s.

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