FBI Blocked From Interviewing Several Key Witnesses, Looking Into Drinking History

US President Donald Trump arrives at a "Make America Great Again" rally at Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, on October 2, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Just hours before the White House sent the FBI report on its investigation into Brett Kavanaugh and allegations of sexual assault against him, the Washington Post and Bloomberg reported that the White House never gave the FBI authority to interview Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh or several other key witnesses.

According to people with knowledge of the matter who spoke to Bloomberg, the White House told the FBI that the testimony that Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh gave before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week should be “sufficient,” in Bloomberg’s words, despite Blasey Ford’s indication that she would provide the FBI with notes from her therapist and other evidence about the alleged assault.

The White House also blocked the FBI from looking into allegations about Kavanaugh’s drinking history in high school and college and whether he lied about his alcohol intake to Congress, according to the Post. While the bureau did interview Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who claimed he exposed himself to her and forced her to touch his genitals, they didn’t interview witnesses Ramirez identified. The FBI also didn’t conduct an interview with Julie Swetnick, the woman represented by Michael Avenatti, who claimed Kavanaugh was present when she was “gang” raped in high school.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced overnight that the Senate had received the FBI report and that Senators would be given time throughout the day on Thursday to “study” it.

The White House said late Thursday that senators would be given “ample time” to review the report and that it was “fully confident” the Senate would vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

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