Trump wants comprehensive but speedy Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Kavanaugh allegations


US President Donald Trump has strongly defended his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is facing sexual assault allegations, and has ordered a time-bound FBI investigation in the case, saying that has an "open mind" if new information emerges.

Nine of 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee wrote on Monday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and White House Counsel Don McGahn, listing 24 people they said should be interviewed by the FBI and urging that the investigation assess all three allegations of sexual misconduct.

When asked whether he thought a limited investigation would be enough to satisfy hold out Republican votes, McConnell replied, "We've asked them what they need, and this is what they have said". But the White House released statements from two other Yale classmates Monday who said they never saw Kavanaugh black out or treat women with disrespect. "If we took 10 years, they'd want more time", he groused.

The FBI is expected to interview Judge Kavanaugh and some of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct - including Prof Ford, who testified last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh's drinking history, which has come up in the allegations, is not part of the probe being managed by the FBI's security division at the agency's headquarters in Washington, the source said.

Some Democratic lawmakers claim the White House is keeping investigators from interviewing certain witnesses and have questioned how thorough an investigation that must be concluded by Friday can and will be.

"It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation's most powerful judges".

"Right now the FBI is investigating, and that's a good thing", Flake said.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Sunday the investigation would start off with interviews with only four people.

Senators, including Republican Jeff Flake, struck a deal Friday that gives the FBI one week to conduct its investigation and deliver its report. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation has also reached out to Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale who says he thrust his genitals into her face during a party.

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Judge has written several books, including one titled "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk", and one titled "God and Man at Georgetown Prep: How I Became a Catholic Despite 20 Years of Catholic Schooling".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had gathered Judiciary Committee Republicans in his office earlier.

As Kavanaugh and the Trump administration hopes confirmation will come this week, the Supreme Court began its new term Monday.

Last week, Flake expressed eagerness to see Kavanaugh confirmed but said he wanted a "better process" for assessing the allegations.

It's not now clear whether the Republican leadership has secured enough votes to ensure Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation.

FBI investigators had not reached out to a third woman who said she witnessed Kavanaugh engage in "inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s", her attorney, Michael Avenatti, wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning.

Kavanaugh has emphatically denied Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a gathering when they were teens.

Swetnick did not identify Kavanaugh or Judge as one of her attackers. Mr Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a narrow 51-49 margin. The memo obtained by The Post does not include any analysis of her questions to Kavanaugh.

What will the FBI investigation do?