WASHINGTON — Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said Thursday the several-day FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh surfaced "no corroboration" for allegations against sexual assault against the judge but suggested it did show politics were at play.
Kennedy, a Republican, told reporters shortly after reading the report in a secure room in the U.S. Capitol that some revelations in it "really make me angry." The senator, however, declined to discuss the confidential report's contents.
"Anybody who thinks politics isn’t involved in this ought to put down the bong," Kennedy said, adding that he would encourage the White House to publicly release the report.
"I really wish you could see this," Kennedy told reporters. "I really wish you could read this report."
Kennedy is expected to vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He's previously blasted Democrats over their handling of the sexual assault allegations — telling a Fox News host on Tuesday night that he doubted some Senate Democrats "have souls" — and dismissed testimony from one accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, naming Kavanaugh as her attacker.
Ford, who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, said she vividly recalled Kavanaugh allegedly pinning her to a bed, groping her and muzzling her screams with his hand at a high school gathering in suburban D.C. in the 1980s.
“She didn't convince me — nor does the record — that Brett Kavanaugh was involved," Kennedy told The Advocate Friday in announcing his continued support for Kavanaugh after Ford's testimony.
A second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, told the New Yorker magazine that drunken Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party during their freshman year at Yale University in Connecticut.
"There were 10 witnesses," Kennedy said Thursday afternoon after viewing the report. "One declined to talk to the FBI, five with respect to Dr. Ford’s allegations, four with respect to Ms. Ramirez’s allegations. There was no corroboration."
WASHINGTON — The fight on Capitol Hill over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, and the handling of sexual assault allegations against…
Fellow Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy — who remained firmly behind Kavanaugh after the allegations surfaced and as the FBI investigated — summed up his impression on a briefing on the report in a video posted to Twitter: "Nothing new, no corroboration."
"Brett Kavanaugh continues, when you speak to anyone who knows him, except perhaps those two" — presumably a reference to Ford and Ramirez — to be "a man of sterling character," Cassidy added. "A guy who’s been a great judge, who I think will become a great Supreme Court justice."
I just came from reviewing the background information compiled by the FBI. There is still no corroboration of the allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh.— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) October 4, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh has been a great judge and he will be a great Supreme Court justice. I look forward to voting for him. pic.twitter.com/PuuwWntWu1
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said there was "no hint of misconduct" — and urged his colleagues to confirm the conservative judge — in a written statement hours after the post-midnight delivery of the FBI document to Congress.
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With Kavanaugh's uncertain prospects for approval depending in part on the decisions of five wavering senators, lawmakers began viewing the document in a secure room in the Capitol complex.
"There's nothing in it that we didn't already know," Grassley said, basing his comment on a briefing he said he'd received from committee aides. He added, "This investigation found no hint of misconduct."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.