The Latest: McConnell promises Kavanaugh vote this week
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote this week on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The Kentucky Republican has used a Senate floor speech to accuse Democrats of constantly delaying and resisting Kavanaugh’s nomination. He says, “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close.”
McConnell is suggesting a parallel between Democrats’ actions and the McCarthy era of the 1940s and 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy used unfounded allegations to accuse people of being communists without firm evidence, ruining their reputations.
McConnell’s remarks come as the two parties battle over the FBI’s investigation of allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women when he was a teenager in the 1980s. That investigation is supposed to be completed by Friday.
The FBI has interviewed a man who Christine Blasey Ford said attended the same party where she said she was attacked by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the 1980s.
That’s according to Eric Bruce, the attorney for Patrick “P.J.” Smyth.
Bruce said Monday that his client “fully cooperated” with the FBI and answered “every question” that agents asked him.
Bruce says Smyth told them he had “no knowledge” of the small gathering that Ford described.
He says Smyth does not have “any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
President Donald Trump ordered the FBI on Friday to reopen Kavanaugh’s background investigation after several women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
The White House issued revised guidance to the FBI that agents can interview anyone they deem relevant as part of their investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
That’s according to a person familiar with the probe who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the background investigation process.
President Donald Trump ordered the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background investigation Friday after several women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Trump said he wants the FBI to do a comprehensive investigation. He also says he stands by Kavanaugh, who’s denied the allegations.
The person familiar with the matter said the investigation must conclude by Friday and it is possible, but unlikely, agents will finish their work before the end of the week.
— By Zeke Miller
The FBI has not yet contacted a California professor who says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.
A person close to Christine Blasey Ford says the FBI had not been in touch with her lawyers to schedule an interview. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the process.
President Donald Trump said during a Rose Garden press conference that he wants the FBI to do a comprehensive investigation. He also says he stands by Kavanaugh.
FBI agents over the weekend interviewed one of the three women who have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Deborah Ramirez alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party in the early 1980s when they were Yale University students.
—By Eric Tucker
President Donald Trump says he has “a very open mind” as the FBI probes allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, adding “I’m waiting just like you” for the results of the investigation.
Trump says he’s still hopeful that Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate and that he doesn’t want to discuss alternative nominees.
He says: “I don’t want to talk about plan b.”
Trump says he’s willing to take “into consideration” any derogatory information the FBI might uncover. But he says, “I hope that he gets approved.”
President Donald Trump says he’d be fine with the FBI interviewing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Trump is pushing back on reports that the White House has tried to limit the scope of the investigation, telling reporters at the White House Monday that “the FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer” and “interview anybody that they want within reason.”
Trump says he wants the weeklong investigation to “be comprehensive,” but also wants it to go quickly “because it’s unfair” to the nominee “at this point.”
Trump also says he thinks Kavanaugh spoke “very conclusively” and “very well” during his testimony last week, but says he was surprised by how vocal Kavanaugh was describing his alcohol use and how much he likes beer.
President Donald Trump says he wants a “comprehensive” FBI investigation of the sexual assault accusations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Speaking at a White House Rose Garden event Monday, Trump told reporters that he continues to support Kavanaugh. But he also wants the FBI to investigate the charges from Christine Blasey Ford and as many as two other accusers.
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations, but the Senate directed the FBI to investigate them for up to a week..
Trump said he wants the FBI probe “to be comprehensive.” He also denied reports that the White House is limiting the scope of the probe, saying, “my White House is doing whatever the senators want.”
He said the one thing he wants is speed, because drawing it out is “unfair” to Kavanaugh’s family.
The president’s eldest son is saying the fallout from the sexual misconduct claims against Judge Brett Kavanaugh has him more worried about his sons than his daughters.
Donald Trump Jr. has five children and suggested he feared “my sons” would be most negatively impacted by similar he-said, she-said allegations. Trump Jr. tells DailyMail TV that he found the situation “scary” and that lives could be ruined by false claims. He spoke during an interview set to air Monday.
The president’s eldest son has been a strong defender of Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
One of his accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testified before Congress last week.
The FBI is engaging in a weeklong probe into the claims against Kavanaugh.
The sex crimes prosecutor who questioned a California women accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault is explaining why she would not bring criminal charges against the Supreme Court nominee.
Rachel Mitchell writes in a new memo sent to Senate Republicans that she does not believe a “reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.”
Mitchell is a Phoenix-based sex crimes prosecutor Republicans hired to question Christine Blasey Ford about her claims against Kavanaugh during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. Mitchell argues that that there are inconsistencies in Ford’s narrative and says no one has corroborated her account.
The hearing — which featured testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh — was not a criminal proceeding, but part of the confirmation process for Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
A Yale University classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is disputing Kavanaugh’s characterization of his drinking while in college.
Charles “Chad” Ludington says in a statement issued Sunday that Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.” He also says Kavanaugh was often belligerent and aggressive when drunk.
The FBI has begun investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by an intoxicated Kavanaugh in high school and college, allegations the appeals court judge flatly denies.
One of the three women accusing Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, spoke to FBI agents on Sunday. According to a person familiar with the matter, she detailed her allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s when they were students at Yale.