The Slatest

Report: Potential Witnesses in the Kavanaugh Investigation Have Been Unable to Reach the FBI

Brett Kavanaugh gestures with his hand as he speaks in front of a microphone at the committee hearing.
Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27. Michael Reynolds/Getty Images

The New Yorker reported Sunday that several people who have tried to contact the FBI with information about Brett Kavanaugh and his behavior in high school and college have said they were unable to reach FBI agents to give their accounts.

The potential witnesses include an anonymous Yale classmate and Elizabeth Rasor, a former girlfriend of Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge. Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer has also said that, as of Sunday, her client has not been contacted by the FBI. “We’ve tried repeatedly to speak with the FBI, but heard nothing back,” she said.

Rasor was quoted in an earlier New Yorker story from September contradicting Judge’s assertion that there was no “rough-housing” with girls during high school. She said Judge had told her about an incident in which he and other boys at Georgetown Prep took turns having sex with the same drunk girl.

But Rasor’s lawyer has said that, despite her client “repeatedly ma[king] clear to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the F.B.I. that she would like the opportunity to speak to them,” the only response she received were emails confirming her emails had been received and advice from one agent that she try calling an 800-number tip line.

Similarly, an unnamed Yale classmate seeking to corroborate Deborah Ramirez’s account of Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a party in college has said he repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to contact the FBI. He told the New Yorker he is certain he heard about the account around the time of the alleged incident, but when he tried to reach the FBI, he was redirected multiple times to different offices and phone numbers until he simply left a tip through an online portal. According to the New Yorker, he had also been in contact with other classmates who wanted to provide information supporting Ramirez’s story.

On Sunday, a former Yale classmate came forward to challenge Kavanaugh’s depiction of his drinking habits. Charles Ludington, who said Kavanaugh often became belligerently drunk in college, has said he will try to reach the FBI at their field office in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday. Ramirez spoke with the FBI on Sunday and gave them a list of potential witnesses, though it’s unclear if the FBI would reach out to any of them.

The report, which comes from Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, the same duo behind other major stories about the allegations against Kavanaugh, follows a weekend of confusion about the scope of the FBI background investigation launched by President Trump on Friday. On Saturday, multiple sources reported that the White House had severely limited the scope of the investigation, telling the FBI to interview only four witnesses. The White House later rejected the assertion that they were tightly managing the investigation, arguing they were only following the guidance of the Senate. Some Republicans argued that a limited scope would be appropriate for a background investigation, which is less exhaustive than a criminal investigation, but Senate Democrats demanded the White House provide the committee with a copy of the directive it sent to the FBI.