WASHINGTON — Ahead of an expected vote on Saturday, Maryland’s Democratic senators on Thursday decried the FBI’s supplemental investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, calling it rushed and incomplete.
“I think it raises more questions than it answers,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, told Capital News Service. “This report did not interview numerous people who should have been interviewed.”
Only one copy of the FBI report, detailing a limited, one-week investigation with a White House-imposed narrow scope, was produced. It was made available at 8 a.m. Thursday when Republicans got the first look at it.
Party control of the room and the ability to review the report rotated every hour. Neither the report, nor any senators’ notes on it, could leave the room. Most importantly, senators were barred from discussing in detail what the report said.
That left senators to comment only on the credibility of the investigation and its parameters rather than the report’s contents.
“This could have gone through Friday, and instead was wrapped up without interviewing a lot of key witnesses, including Dr. (Christine Blasey) Ford, who has said that she has not been interviewed,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said. “It is clearly incomplete.”
Nearly all Senate Republicans maintained that Kavanaugh was “innocent until proven guilty” and that nothing in any of the previous background checks, nor anything in the new investigation justified keeping him off the nation’s highest court.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that there was no corroboration of Dr. Ford’s or Deborah Ramirez’s allegations from any of the nine interviewees in the report.
“It’s clear this has become a political exercise and (the Democrats) are interested in stalling and re-stalling, but it’s time to vote,” Kennedy told reporters. “It’s time for women to woman-up and men to man-up and let’s be senators and let’s start voting. I think everybody has the information they need.”
Democrats staunchly disagreed, claiming that the nine people interviewed were nowhere near enough, including people who reached out to the FBI with what they said was relevant knowledge.
“This thing is a sham from start to finish,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, said, criticizing the GOP for forcing a vote through with such speed after keeping a seat on the court open for 14 months when Republicans refused to vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination.
Video by Danielle Stein
Beyond what Democrats called an incomplete investigation, their concerns remained over the last committee public appearance Kavanaugh made, in which he fiercely defended his name and vehemently denied the allegations against him.
“Based on Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony and his temperament in his last appearance, he should be disqualified because he took such a hyper-partisan approach,” Van Hollen said. “When you go before the Supreme Court, citizens need to have confidence that the court is going to be impartial.”