A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could wind down in the next 24 hours, according to reports.
Fox Business Network reporter Edward Lawrence and CNN political correspondent Dana Bash reported Monday afternoon that the FBI could wrap up its investigation into Kavanaugh as early as Tuesday, three days prior to its Friday deadline agreed upon by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“GOP senator tells me that @senatemajldr told WH Friday the 3 key GOP Senators wanted the FBI to interview 4 people: PJ Smyth, Leland Keyser, Mark Judge & Deborah Ramirez. Senator tells me with that limit – FBI could be done by today or Tuesday,” Bash tweeted.
At the request of the committee, President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to probe allegations against Kavanaugh, and his Supreme Court nominee vowed to cooperate with investigators. “Throughout this process, I’ve been interviewed by the FBI, I’ve done a number of ‘background’ calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the Senators and their counsel asked me,” Kavanaugh said in a statement released through the White House. “I’ve done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate.”
The New York Times reported on Monday that the White House authorized federal agents to “expand” the scope of the probe while still keeping its Friday deadline. The reported change allows the Bureau to interview “anyone it deems necessary” to answer questions about accusations against Kavanaugh, all brought forth after his confirmation hearings had already concluded.
Speaking before reporters in the White House’s Rose Garden on Monday, President Trump reiterated his support for a fair and thorough investigation into the Supreme Court nominee. “We don’t want to go on a witch hunt, do we?” the president asked reporters, a reference to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign.
“My White House will do whatever the senators want,” Trump affirmed. “The one thing I want is speed.”
Asked if he would object to the FBI interviewing accuser Julie Swetnick, who is represented by TV attorney and 2020 Democrat hopeful Michael Avenatti, the president replied, “It wouldn’t bother me at all. Now, I don’t know all three of the accusers. Certainly, I imagine they’re going to interview two. The third one I don’t know much about.”