On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake was joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other swing-vote senators in calling for a one-week FBI investigation into the recent allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be completed before a final vote on his confirmation is held. Senate Republicans and the White House then announced that the bureau would, in fact, take a week to review “current credible allegations” against Kavanaugh.
It’s not clear yet what exactly that means: Will the FBI investigate all three of the public accusations against Kavanaugh as well as the potentially false statements about drinking and sex he made during Thursday’s testimony in an attempt to exonerate himself? Or will agents merely examine Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, the only accusation that was addressed at length in Thursday’s hearing?* The latest reporting indicates that the FBI itself will get to make that determination:
If there is a wide inquiry into Kavanaugh’s three accusers and his related statements, here’s a list of people whom the bureau might want to talk to:
• Mark Judge. Judge, whom Ford alleges was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her, has so much to tell: Did Kavanaugh ever get blackout drunk, as he denies? Does Judge know Ford? He’s said he doesn’t remember Kavanaugh sexually assaulting Ford or any other women in the manner she describes, but does he remember Kavanaugh treating any other women inappropriately at all? Did Judge ever take turns with other boys having sex with a drunk woman, as he allegedly told his ex-girlfriend he did and as third Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick alleges happened to her with Kavanaugh present? Did Kavanaugh?
While there’s been speculation that Judge would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions about his alleged involvement in these acts, he said through an attorney Friday that he would cooperate with the FBI or any other agency “confidentially” investigating said subjects. (It’s not yet clear how widely the FBI’s work will be distributed; background-check information gathered for Senate hearings are typically given to the White House counsel’s office, which can give the information to committee members and work with them to determine specific followup questions that need to be answered.)**
• Elizabeth Rasor. Judge’s ex-girlfriend told the New Yorker that Judge confessed to her that he’d participated in a so-called sexual lineup with a drunk young woman. She could elaborate on that and speak more generally as to whether Ford’s claims about Judge are credible.
• Julie Swetnick. A client of Democratic lawyer and attention-seeker Michael Avenatti, Swetnick came forward this week with a sworn declaration alleging that she socialized with Judge and Kavanaugh and knew them to be part of a group of boys who would “target” and take advantage of intoxicated women sexually, sometimes in a “train”-style rape. She also says she was at one point the victim of such activities. (Swetnick does not say Kavanaugh participated in these “trains” but claims that she saw him with Judge “lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.”) Swetnick’s allegation is not entirely out of line with what Rasor told the New Yorker, but she and Avenatti haven’t yet disclosed any information, such as details about where alleged assaults took place or names of individuals whom Swetnick talked to about this at the time, that would allow for corroboration.
• Tim Gaudette. Per Kavanaugh’s testimony, this is the “Timmy” whose house Kavanaugh visited for “skis” (aka brewskis, aka beer) on July 1, 1982, according to the calendar he presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee. By Kavanaugh’s own record of his activities that summer, this seems like the most likely night he could have committed the assault Ford alleges, because all three of the men she remembers in the house that evening were listed in the calendar entry.
• Tim Gaudette’s parents. Were they home the night of July 1, 1982? Did they let Timmy and his friends drink at their house alone?
• Tom Kaine, P. J. Smyth, and Bernie McCarthy. These three other (former) boys were listed in the Kavanaugh calendar entry as attendees of the ’skis gathering at Timmy’s house. Ford also specifically remembers Smyth being at the house the night of her alleged assault; he’s said he doesn’t remember such a gathering. He and the others could be asked under oath whether they remember any similar gatherings, and what Kavanaugh did at those, and where they took place. They could be asked whether they really didn’t drink on weeknights, as Kavanaugh claimed in Thursday’s hearing, and whether Kavanaugh ever got so drunk that he passed out or blacked out, as he has denied ever doing.
• Chris Garrett, aka “Squi.” Kavanaugh’s calendar has Garrett at the hangout at Timmy’s house too. Per Ford’s testimony, Garrett also dated Ford while both were in high school and introduced her to Kavanaugh. Among other things, he can confirm whether Kavanaugh knew Ford, which Kavanaugh says he did not. Conservatives have also advanced a far-fetched theory that Garrett, who bears some resemblance to Kavanaugh, is Ford’s true assailant, and he could be allowed to answer to those charges.
• “Tobin.” According to Kavanaugh’s calendar, he was working out at “Tobin’s house” before going to Timmy’s for ’skis, and at the hearing Kavanaugh indeed talked about working out at Tobin’s much of the summer with other members of the football team. Did Kavanaugh say where they were going that night? Did workouts often precede parties? How long did workouts last, and when would Kavanaugh have left?
• Leland Keyser. A good friend of Ford’s in high school, Keyser says she doesn’t remember any gathering like the one Ford claims to have been sexually assaulted at, though Ford says Keyser was there. Even so, Keyser says she believes Ford’s allegations. The FBI should ask her why.
• Former employees of the Columbia Country Club. This is where Ford says she likely learned of the party where she says she was assaulted. Does anyone who worked there remember Ford or Kavanaugh? Ford says she swam at the club before going to the house where she was sexually assaulted. Did anyone ever see her leave the club with one of the men who she says was present at the party, or have any other information that could pinpoint where it took place?
• The Safeway human resources department. Ford says she saw Judge six to eight weeks after her alleged 1982 assault at a local Safeway where he worked. A passage in Judge’s memoir, which says he worked at a “supermarket” that summer, appears to confirm that such an encounter was possible, but employment records could presumably settle the matter definitively.
• Renate Schroeder Dolphin and associated Georgetown Prep students. Kavanaugh has said the now-infamous yearbook entry listing him as a “Renate Alumnius”—a listing that a number of other Georgetown Prep football players included on their pages—was intended as an affectionate reference to taking Dolphin to dances, not as a crude insinuation about having sex with her. Do the other players share that take? Did Dolphin kiss Kavanaugh, as Kavanaugh’s lawyer claims she did, but Dolphin denies? How did Kavanaugh and the other guys who listed themselves as her “alumni” treat her in high school? Did she ever see them at parties?
• Deborah Ramirez and witnesses. In a New Yorker story, Ramirez said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and made crude remarks at a party during their freshman year at Yale. The magazine says she acknowledges there are “significant gaps in her memories of the evening” because she was drinking, and that no other individuals who were present at the party could be located who confirmed her account. More than one former Yale student told the New Yorker they remember hearing about the alleged incident after it occurred, though—suggesting that it was memorable enough to others that an investigation with the resources of the FBI behind it might be able to locate direct witnesses. In fact, New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer says Yale alumni were emailing about the alleged incident in July, before she and Ronan Farrow spoke to Ramirez and also before Ford went public.
• James Roche. Kavanaugh’s freshman-year roommate at Yale says he believes Kavanaugh would have shoved his exposed genitals in a drunk Deborah Ramirez’s face, as Ramirez alleges. He has also described Kavanaugh as “frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk,” which conflicts with Kavanaugh’s own characterization of his alcohol use.
• Kit Winter. Winter, who lived with Kavanaugh and Roche during that freshman year, told the Cut that Kavanaugh and his friends were “loud, obnoxious frat boy–like drunks” and that as a result “people were constantly puking in the bathroom” that they shared. Kavanaugh told Congress that he was not a “sloppy drunk” and has never suffered memory loss as a result of drinking; Winter could speak to investigators about the plausibility of those claims. (Winter told the Cut he found it “very hard to believe” Kavanaugh never had drinking-related memory loss.)
• Liz Swisher. Swisher, a Yale graduate, says she was friends with Kavanaugh at the school. She contacted the Washington Post after Kavanaugh claimed in his Monday Fox News interview that he’d never had memory loss while drinking. Said Swisher: “Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling. There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. … But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”
• David White and Chris Dudley. White, a football player, was a friend and roommate of Kavanaugh’s. Dudley, who went on to play in the NBA, was a friend. Kavanaugh mentioned both on Thursday as individuals who could vouch for his claims that he was not a belligerent or blackout-level drinker.
• Steve Kantrowitz. Another former Yale classmate, Kantrowitz—now a history professor at the University of Wisconsin—tweeted after Kavanaugh claimed in his Fox interview to have been a virgin well into college that Kavanaugh had told him otherwise when they were freshmen. It’s a strange issue to be litigating, of course, and young men lie about their sexual experience all the time, but it speaks to whether Kavanaugh was honest when he told the Senate the same virginity line.
Corrections, 9 p.m.: *This sentence misstated that Ford’s allegations were the only ones addressed at Thursday’s hearing. **This paragraph originally stated in error that background-check materials are given directly to congressional committees and quoted a statement by Judge’s lawyer from Thursday rather than Friday.
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