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(Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP)


WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI agents on Sunday interviewed one of the three women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as Republicans and Democrats quarreled over whether the bureau would have enough time and freedom to conduct a thorough investigation before a high-stakes vote on his nomination to the nation’s highest court.

The White House insisted it was not “micromanaging” the new one-week review of Kavanaugh’s background but some Democratic lawmakers claimed the White House was keeping investigators from interviewing certain witnesses. President Donald Trump, for his part, tweeted that no matter how much time and discretion the FBI was given, “it will never be enough” for Democrats trying to keep Kavanaugh off the bench.

And even as the FBI explored the past allegations that have surfaced against Kavanaugh, another Yale classmate came forward to accuse the federal appellate judge of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the extent of his drinking in college.

In speaking to FBI agents, Deborah Ramirez detailed her allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s when they were students at Yale University, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of a confidential investigation.

Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez’s allegation.

The person familiar with Ramirez’s questioning, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said she also provided investigators with the names of others who she said could corroborate her account.

But Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, has not been contacted by the FBI since Trump on Friday ordered the agency to take another look at the nominee’s background, according to a member of Ford’s team.

Kavanaugh has denied assaulting Ford.

In a statement released Sunday, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s said he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.” Charles “Chad” Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale and that Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.”

“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” Ludington said. While saying that youthful drinking should not condemn a person for life, Ludington said he was concerned about Kavanaugh’s statements under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking to the issue of the scope of the FBI’s investigation, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said White House counsel Don McGahn, who is managing Kavanaugh’s nomination, “has allowed the Senate to dictate what these terms look like, and what the scope of the investigation is.”

“The White House isn’t intervening. We’re not micromanaging this process. It’s a Senate process. It has been from the beginning, and we’re letting the Senate continue to dictate what the terms look like,” Sanders said.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the investigation will be “limited in scope” and “will not be a fishing expedition. The FBI is not tasked to do that.”

Senate Judiciary Committee member Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., requested an investigation last Friday — after he and other Republicans on the panel voted along strict party lines in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation — as a condition for his own subsequent vote to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

Another committee member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that testimony would be taken from Ramirez and Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, who has been named by two of three women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

“I think that will be the scope of it. And that should be the scope of it,” Graham said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called on the White House and the FBI to provide the written directive regarding the investigation’s scope. In a letter Sunday, she also asked for updates on any expansion of the original directive.

Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday she is confident in the investigation and “that the FBI will follow up on any leads that result from the interviews.” The Maine Republican supports the new FBI investigation and is among a few Republican and Democratic senators who have not announced a position on Kavanaugh.

Republicans control 51 seats in the closely divided 100-member Senate and cannot afford to lose more than one vote on confirmation.

Collins and Flake spoke throughout the weekend.

Senate Republicans discussed the contours of the investigation with the White House late Friday, according to a person familiar with the call who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had gathered Judiciary Committee Republicans in his office earlier. At that time, the scope of the investigation was requested by Flake, Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart.

Murkowski is not on the committee, but also has not announced how she will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Republicans later called the White House to discuss the scope of the probe, the person said.

McConnell’s office declined to elaborate Sunday on which allegations would be investigated, reiterating only that it would focus on “current credible allegations.” Stewart said the investigation’s scope “was set” by the three GOP senators Friday and “has not changed.”

But Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, a Judiciary Committee member, doubted how credible the investigation will be given the time limit.

“That’s bad enough, but then to limit the FBI as to the scope and who they’re going to question, that – that really – I wanted to use the word farce, but that’s not the kind of investigation that all of us are expecting the FBI to conduct,” she said.

Trump initially opposed such an investigation as allegations began mounting but relented and ordered one on Friday. He later said the FBI has “free rein.”

“They’re going to do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do. They’ll be doing things that we have never even thought of,” Trump said Saturday as he departed the White House for a trip to West Virginia. “And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”

He revisited the “scope” question later Saturday on Twitter, writing in part, “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”

Sanders said Trump, who has vigorously defended Kavanaugh but also raised the slight possibility of withdrawing the nomination should damaging information be found, “will listen to the facts.”

At least three women have accused Kavanaugh of years-ago misconduct. He denies all the claims.

The third woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh and Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations. Kavanaugh has called her accusations a “joke.” Judge has said he “categorically” denies the allegations.

Swetnick’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Saturday that his client had not been contacted by the FBI but was willing to cooperate with investigators.

Ford also has said Judge was in the room when a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Judge has said he will cooperate with any law enforcement agency that will “confidentially investigate” sexual misconduct allegations against him and Kavanaugh. Judge has also denied misconduct allegations.

Sanders spoke on “Fox News Sunday,” Conway appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and Graham and Hirono were interviewed on ABC’s “This Week.”


Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.


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8 thoughts on “FBI Interviews Kavanaugh Accuser; Yale Friend Remembers Heavy Drinker

  1. Phoenix Rising on said:

    Dude, I’m not parroting anything. My comment focused on Flake denying 45 his alcoholic supreme court pick. I specifically said, let the investigation go through. Then in the end, he should vote NO. I don’t thing I said anything about what the dems are now saying or asking for regarding the investigation. But of course, as usual, you, the faux news parrot have your talking points ready to go, even if it doesn’t fit the comment to which you are responding to. You just got to get BS it out.

  2. Phoenix Rising on said:

    This is how Flake can get back at #45 for dogging him last year: Flake actually could have the last word. The ultimate revenge/punishment for #45 is to allow this farce of an investigation to go through. Farce, meaning if they (WH) sets limits on who & what the FBI can investigate. Collins and Murkowski already have doubts about this alcoholic’s temperament. Manchin is on the fence. Let them take the vote. Flake is on his way out and could care less about anything from what he said on 60 Minutes. Definitely not his constituents. Anyway, he hates DT. What better way to get back at him, than to deny 45 THIS Supreme Court Justice pick and vote NO. Hopefully, Collins or Murkowski will also vote no. Manchin is definitely in 45 country (hillbillies) WV, and if what Flake said on 60 minutes, all these politicians care about is what they can get and not doing the work of the people. Denying Kavanaugh, would rock 45’s world. Talk about a tantrum.

    • Flake is leaving for the same reason he has shown here he knows the people of AZ are tired of his lack of balls (ref the elevator seen) the Dem’s could have had a lengthy investigation if they had launched confidential investigation back in july, the fact that you are now parroting the same talking points, first they want an investigation now thieve got it if it’s found that Kav wasn’t lying and Ford was then what Fords testimony already had some serious contradictions
      Don’t forget several Dems in red states are up for re-election a no vote after a clean FBI report
      would leave them with some explaining to do

  3. Kavanaugh has drank so much booze, his dumbass doesn’t even remember WTF happened while he was in college.

    If after the FBI investigation and other allegations from more women arise–this TURD SHOULD NOT BE CONFIRMED–but I don’t see any of this stopping the GOP from voting his ass in!!!!!!

    • Ted Kennedy drank heavily committed man slaughter (ran his car into a pond and left a young lady passenger to drown) and received praise from his Democratic colleagues until his death Marion Barry a convicted felon and crackhead was elected mayor of DC

      • Phoenix Rising on said:

        Probably, half the people posting, weren’t even born when that Kennedy sh*t happened. What, 1969? Marion Barry’s sh*t was what? 1992 or 1994? You’re not even up on all this political sh*t, you’re just google searching anything you can find to fit your narrative. Don’t hate b/c the repubs didn’t do their due diligence to make sure these two men never served in the federal or local government again. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Here we are 2018, you can rest assure, the dems, along with a few repubs with a conscious, will not allow a lying, attempted rapist, stepford judge to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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