Here Comes the Judge

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by Daveda Gruber:

Late Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans released an executive summary of the FBI’s confidential supplemental background investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This all happened after the FBI released their seventh investigation report which did not find collaboration in the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.

The FBI was tasked by President Trump last week to look into allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Kavanaugh by three women including Ford.

Ford identified a former classmate, Leland Ingham Keyser, as having attended a house party Maryland in the early 1980s, in which she accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed, attempting to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.

Keyser told FBI investigators that she felt pressured to clarify her original statement regarding an alleged sexual assault involving Kavanaugh. This is according to a Wall Street Journal Report.

Keyser told the investigators that she was, as the Journal notes, urged to clarify her statement by Monica McLean, a former FBI agent and friend of Ford’s, the paper reported, mentioning people familiar with the matter.

McLean’s lawyer denied his client tried to influence Keyser to change her account, telling the Journal in a statement it is “absolutely false.”

Someone close to the former classmates told the Journal she believed mutual friends of both Ford and Keyser, including McLean, simply reached out to Keyser to warn her that her statement was being used by Republicans as vindication for Kavanagh and if she felt she needed to clarify what she meant, she should. The person said the mutual friends did not “pressure” Keyser.

Howard Walsh is a lawyer for Keyser and he declined to comment to the Journal.

Everyone seems to have a lawyer.

McLean’s lawyer denied his client tried to influence Keyser to change her account, telling the Journal in a statement it is “absolutely false.”

The White House and the Senate had received additional information from the FBI., This includes text messages between Keyser and McClean.

Kavanaugh and his allies, reportedly lobbied to bolster his defense ahead of a New Yorker report on Sept. 23. It had published allegations from Deborah Ramirez, who claimed the federal judge exposed himself to her at a university party while at Yale.

A former classmate of Kavanagh’s received a call from “Brett’s guy” and was asked to “go on the record,” the paper reported citing a memo of the conversation from another friend.

Absent from the witness list were any individuals directly related to the allegations of Julie Swetnick. She had claimed in a sworn statement that she had witnessed Kavanaugh participating in systemic gang rapes decades ago.

Swetnick’s credibility has taken a beating in recent days. One ex-boyfriend saying that she “Exaggerated everything” and had threatened to kill his unborn baby. Another ex-boyfriend reported that she had previously been sued for allegedly concocting false sexual harassment claims. Swetnick is represented by anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans commented, “There is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.”

FBI agents interviewed 10 people. They had reached out to 11. They focused on witnesses with potential first-hand knowledge of alleged sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh.

Mark Judge was also questioned “extensively” about other allegations besides Ford’s, according to the Judiciary Committee. Democrats had called for Senate Republicans to subpoena Judge.

The FBI interviewed two individuals named in Kavanaugh’s July 1, 1982 calendar entry. Some observers said it could have described the gathering where Ford was purportedly attacked. Those individuals were his longtime friend Christopher Garrett and Timothy Gaudette, whose house Kavanaugh visited for beers on July 1, according to his calendar. An attorney for one of those witnesses was also interviewed.

Key swing-vote senators vowed they would review Friday ahead of a major vote on his confirmation.

The summary reads “The FBI provided to the Senate 12 detailed FD-302 reports summarizing their interviews with the witnesses as well as supporting materials cited by the witnesses during their interviews.”

Only senators and top aides are being allowed to review the full report in a secure facility on Capitol Hill.

Key swing-vote senators vowed they would continue to review Friday ahead of a major vote on his confirmation.

Those senators are Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, and Maine Republican Susan Collins. They have kept their options open throughout the nomination process but there were indications that at least some of them will support Kavanaugh.

You can expect that Democrats will not vote to confirm Kavabaugh. Republicans can lose one vote but that would mean Vice President Mike Pence may have to break a tie.

As democrats continue to try to stall and delay, Republicans are pushing for this to go to the Senate floor as quickly as possible.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has done a great job and I hope his efforts pay off in the end.President Trump tweeted:

A key procedural vote to end debate and bring the vote forward (Cloture) has revealed that Lisa Murkowski R-AK. voted NO. The final vote was 51-49.

A final vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is expected Saturday, which would be 30 hours from now..

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