Several people who went to high school and college with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh say the FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him is too restrictive and only being conducted to give Republicans cover to vote for him.
“I thought it was going to be an investigation, but instead it seems it’s just an alibi for Republicans to vote for Kavanaugh,” one unnamed Yale classmate told The New Yorker Sunday.
The investigation was launched after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced Friday he would note vote to confirm Kavanaugh without an FBI probe into the matter. Three senators considered pivotal votes on Kavanaugh, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), all said they agreed with Flake.
But Republicans determined that the investigation should not last more than one week, and The New York Times reported over the weekend that FBI officials said the supplemental background check could be finished as soon as Monday morning.
Additionally, the Times reported, the bureau was directed by the White House and Senate Republicans to interview only four people: two high school friends of Kavanaugh’s, Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth; Leland Keyser, friend of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford; Ford herself; and Deborah Ramirez, another woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
As The New Yorker reported Sunday, a number of other high school and college classmates and friends of Kavanaugh’s and some of the women who have accused him of assault have tried to contact the FBI with pertinent information, but they have been unable to do so.
One woman, Elizabeth Rasor, one of Mark Judge’s high school girlfriends, said through her attorney this week that she has “repeatedly made clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the F.B.I. that she would like the opportunity to speak to them.” But, her attorney told the magazine, they have received no substantive response.
Instead, Rasor’s attorney said they have received emails from the bureau acknowledging their receipt, without any response to the emails themselves. One official told them to try calling an 800-number tip line.
Rasor previously told The New Yorker that Judge had once revealed to her “an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with the same drunk woman.”
Notably, Rasor’s account sounds similar to that of Kavanaugh’s third accuser, a woman named Julie Swetnick.
Swetnick says she was “train” or gang raped in high school at a party where Kavanaugh and Judge were present. She said the two friends were part of a group of boys that frequently spiked punch at parties in an effort to drug young women and prevent them from being able to consent to sexual encounters.
Several other people told The New Yorker they were given similar responses. The unnamed Yale classmate quoted by the magazine said he wanted to corroborate Ramirez’s claim that, at a party in college, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and pushed his penis in her face against her wishes. The classmate said he tried to contact the FBI’s Washington, D.C. office, but he was told to contact the FBI office nearest to his home. There, he got a recording, and eventually reached an official at the office who didn’t know what the classmate was talking about.
The New Yorker reported that the unnamed classmate then reached out to the Washington office again and was told to call the tip line. Eventually, he left a tip through an online portal, according to the magazine.
Another former classmate of Kavanaugh’s, a man named Chad Ludington, released a statement over the weekend contradicting Kavanaugh’s claims about his drinking, saying he planned to take his account to the FBI Monday morning.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly claimed he never drank to excess or had lapses in memory due to alcohol consumption. He implied during sworn testimony last week that this proved he could not have assaulted Ford, who claims he attempted to rape her at a house party in 1982, when the two were teenagers.
“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer,” Ludington’s statement, released in full by the Times Sunday, read. “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
The statement concluded, “I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.”
Last week, both Ford and Kavanaugh testified under oath in front of the Judiciary Committee. Ford testified that, at a “gathering” in high school, Kavanaugh forced himself on her, groped her over her clothes, and tried to pull off her clothing. When she tried to scream, he then covered her mouth with his hand and turned up the music in the room to muffle her cries. She said Thursday she believed Kavanaugh might accidentally kill her.
Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied all accusations against him. On Friday, the Judiciary Committee voted to move his nomination forward 11-10. Flake said over the weekend that he would not have called for the investigation if he were up for reelection.
“No, not a chance,” Flake told 60 Minutes Sunday when he asked if he would’ve made the same decision had he been seeking reelection. “There’s no value to reaching across the aisle, there’s not currency for that anymore, there’s no incentive.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated who told The New Yorker that Mark Judge said he had been part of “an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with the same drunk woman.” It was Elizabeth Rasor, not Leah Litman.