President Donald Trump said he wants the FBI to do a “very comprehensive” investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and lamented the “trauma” the accusations have caused the judge.
Trump insisted that the FBI would “essentially” have free rein in its investigation but also said that Senate Republicans would be able to define the scope of the probe.
“My White House will do whatever the senators want,” Trump said Monday during a Rose Garden news conference. “The one thing I want is speed.”
Trump said he has instructed the FBI to handle its investigation according to bounds set by the Senate Judiciary Committee. He added that “it wouldn’t bother me at all” if the FBI interviews all three of the women who have accused Kavanaugh of misconduct and the judge himself.
Democrats have raised concerns about limits placed on the investigation.
The probe will be limited in scope in ways dictated by the White House, said a person familiar with the proceedings. That apparently includes not following up on claims of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh from Julie Swetnick, the third woman to come forward, and on information offered about the judge’s history of alcohol use, including on Sunday by a former classmate from Yale University.
The FBI was given initial orders to interview just four people, said the person familiar with proceedings. They were Kavanaugh’s high school friends Mark Judge and PJ Smyth; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of California professor Christine Blasey Ford; and Deborah Ramirez, who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party at Yale University.
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, another Judiciary Committee member, said she’s concerned Republicans are trying to water down the brief investigation.
“Even if there’s seven days, that’s bad enough, but then to limit the FBI as to the scope and who they’re going to question, that really -- I don’t want to use the word farce -- but that’s not the kind of investigation all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct,” Hirono said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
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