White House “Confident” Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed After Reportedly Limiting FBI Probe

Senators were sent materials to review in the middle of the night.

Tom Williams/AP

In a series of pre-dawn tweets, the White House on Thursday announced that it had received the FBI’s completed investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and was sending the bureau’s report to the Senate, expressing confidence that the Supreme Court nominee would be confirmed.

White House spokesman Raj Shah hailed the investigation as the “most comprehensive review” of a Supreme Court nominee, despite mounting reports that the White House had in fact stepped in to significantly limit the scope of the probe.

Senators will now review the White House’s summaries ahead of a Friday cloture vote scheduled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats and key witnesses related to the sexual assault allegations are slamming the White House for blocking the FBI from conducting a thorough investigation into Kavanaugh despite public assurances from the president earlier in the week that the FBI could interview anyone it believed was central to the probe.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the FBI sought to interview 10 people and ultimately spoke to nine. This did not include Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward with accusations against Kavanaugh. The bureau also did not interview Kavanaugh himself.

“An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony—cannot be called an investigation,” lawyers for Ford said in a statement late Wednesday.

Deborah Ramirez, who has alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party, told the New Yorker: “I am very alarmed, first, that I was denied an F.B.I. investigation for five days, and then, when one was granted, that it was given on a short timeline and that the people who were key to corroborating my story have not been contacted. I feel like I’m being silenced.”

As senators prepared to review the FBI report, President Trump on Thursday appeared to cite a new poll showing an uptick in Republican enthusiasm for the midterm elections amid the Kavanaugh allegations. He then slammed the allegations as “totally uncorroborated.”

Trump openly mocked Ford’s testimony and mischaracterized her allegations during a political rally on Tuesday, sparking widespread condemnation from Democrats and three Republican senators seen as key swing votes to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The White House defended the president’s shocking remarks and claimed that he was simply “stating the facts.”

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.