The FBI has officially opened its investigation into sexual assault accusations against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Investigators spoke on Sunday to Deborah Ramirez, a 53-year-old Boulder, Colorado, woman who told the New Yorker magazine last week that while they were students at Yale, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and caused her to touch his genitalia.
According to a CNN report on Sunday, Ramirez spoke to FBI agents about the incident and also gave the investigators the names of witnesses who could also talk about what she says happened between Kavanaugh and Ramirez at Yale University in 1983. But whether the FBI agents would interview those witnesses remained unclear.
A report by NBC News on Saturday said that Trump had ordered the FBI to limit the scope of its investigation, and some witnesses would not be interviewed.
Trump on Saturday posted to Twitter denying the NBC report.
“NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”
But according to NBC, White House counsel Don McGhan has submitted a list of witnesses who may be interviewed by the FBI, and Trump’s Twitter post did not change those instructions, leaving the prospects murky for whether or not the Ramirez witnesses would be contacted by the FBI.
As the Inquisitr reported, Ramirez made claims about a college party where alcohol was heavily used.
“Kavanaugh had exposed himself, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” she said.
Kavanaugh denied that the incident ever happened, the New Yorker reported, calling Ramirez’s accusation “a smear, pure and simple.” One of the investigative reporters who authored the New Yorker story, Ronan Farrow, stated on his Twitter feed that Ramirez had tried to tell her story to the Senate Judiciary Committee — which allowed testimony from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday, as Inquisitr noted — but was blocked from doing so by Republican staffers there.
“Ramirez’s attorneys wrote that she was open to testifying and repeatedly set times for a call to discuss when and how,” Farrow wrote. “A Republican staffer intervened each time to stop the call, asking for unspecified evidence first.”
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump in May of 2017, wrote a New York Times op-ed on Sunday, in which he said that he believes the FBI will be able to conduct a thorough investigation.
“Although the process is deeply flawed, and apparently designed to thwart the fact-gathering process, the F.B.I. is up for this,” Comey wrote. “It’s not as hard as Republicans hope it will be.”