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Graham suggests no need for FBI to talk to Kavanaugh classmates on drinking: He’s not a ‘stumbling, bumbling drunk’

Graham suggests no need for FBI to talk to Kavanaugh classmates on drinking: He's not a 'stumbling, bumbling drunk' - ABC News

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that there is no need for the FBI’s supplemental investigation of Brett Kavanaugh to include talking to his former classmates about his drinking habits in college.

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Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and staunch supporter of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday that the FBI probe would include talking to Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teens; Deborah Ramirez, who alleges he exposed himself to her in college; and Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh’s.

Graham also said the FBI would talk to people whom Ford said were “witnesses,” an apparent reference to people she said were at the small party where she was allegedly assaulted.

Kavanaugh has strongly and categorically denied the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault

Stephanopoulos said, “It appears that the FBI will not be questioning those college witnesses who contradict Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony about his drinking … Isn’t that relevant?”

Graham said, “No, I think you’re trying to portray him as a stumbling, bumbling drunk, gang rapist, who during high school and college was Bill Cosby.”

Stephanopoulos pressed again later in the interview, “Senator, isn’t testimony about Judge Kavanaugh’s drinking in college if you’re interviewing Deborah Ramirez, isn’t that relevant?”

“He’s had six FBI background checks. He’s been on the political stage for 26 years. He’s not a stumbling, bumbling drunk,” Graham said. “I don’t believe that he could have accomplished what he’s accomplished to have been a serial rapist in high school and stop it for the rest of your life.

Ramirez claimed to The New Yorker that at a house party in college, Kavanaugh “thrust his penis into her face,” causing her to “touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.” Her attorneys say the FBI has contacted them.

Stephanopoulos asked if the FBI would be interview Julie Swetnick, a women represented by Michael Avenatti who has alleged she witnessed Kavanaugh, while he was in high school, “drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct,” including “fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent.” Avenatti told ABC News Saturday night that the FBI has not yet contacted them about the allegations.

Graham said, “I think the allegation that she makes is outrageous. Not one Democrat mentioned it, but Mark Judge, who’s named by Ms. Swetnick as being part of the gangrape and drugging women, will be asked did he ever see this happen or did Kavanaugh — see Kavanaugh engage in it.” The Senate Judiciary Committee’s request for an FBI investigation said it “would be limited to current credible allegations against” Kavanaugh. When the White House ordered the investigation, President Donald Trump reaffirmed the investigation would be “limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

But after NBC reported that Swetnick’s allegations would not be part of the FBI investigation, Trump tweeted the story was false, saying, “I want (the FBI) to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”

Graham said that in addition to an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations, he wants the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate what he called “a despicable process.”

“The FBI will do a supplemental background investigation. Then I’m going to call for an investigation of what happened in this committee, who betrayed Dr. Ford’s trust, who in Feinstein’s office recommended Katz as a lawyer, why did Ms. Ford not know that the committee was willing to go to California, who released the anonymous letter given to the committee by Cory Gardner,” the South Carolina senator said.

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.more +

“We’re going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again,” he added, noting that he does accept Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s denial that she personally leaked the letter. The reporter who broke the story about Dr. Ford’s letter alleging the assault said his source was not someone in Feinstein’s office.

“All I can tell you is it came from somebody with a political motive. There were three people who had the letter, people in Feinstein’s office, the congresswoman from California, and Ms. Katz and the legal team,” Graham said. “No friend would do this to Dr. Ford. I believe her when she said she wanted to remain anonymous.”

“I’m shocked not one media outlet is reporting the fact during the hearing she didn’t know that the committee was willing to go to California,” he said. “Again, if the shoe were on the other foot, the Republicans had done this, we would be destroyed. We would be under ethical investigation.”

“So I’m going to make sure that when this debacle is over that we look at what happened to deter it in the future,” he said.

Source: abc news



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