Democrats demands that the FBI expand its probe into allegations of sexual misconduct levied against Trump SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh to include interviews with roughly two dozen witnesses have predictably fallen on deaf ears. Fox News reported Wednesday morning that after interviewing Kav accuser Deborah Ramirez and a smattering of friends of both Kavanaugh and his accusers, the bureau could end its expanded background-check probe as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Once the report - which the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee are under no obligation to release to the public (though we imagine it'll leak as soon as a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary can get their hands on a copy) - has been filed, the Senate could move forward with a cloture vote and other procedural steps that could set the GOP up to call for a vote as soon as Saturday, five days after the start of the Supreme Court's fall term.
To be sure, it's still much too early to speculate that Kavanaugh has a lock on the nomination. Democrats have done practically everything in their power to stall his nomination, and will likely play every card that they have to try and delay it past the Nov. 6 midterm election (though, assuming they did lose the Senate, Republicans would still have the lame duck period to push through a confirmation). And there's still the question of whether Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins will all fall in line - assuming unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans can only afford to lose one vote.
GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Democrats during a Monday floor speech:
"If you listen carefully, Mr. President, you can practically hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goalposts," McConnell said. He added later: "Their goalposts keep shifting. But their goal hasn't moved an inch. Not an inch.
"Do these actions suggest this has ever been about finding the truth?" McConnell asked. "Anybody believe that?"
While the credibility of each of Kavanaugh's three accusers has been called into question in recent days (most recently, a longtime boyfriend of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, revealed that Ford may have possibly perjured herself while other suspicious allegations have arisen relating to Ford's involvement with hypnosis therapy used to "create artificial memories"). Furthermore, Kavanaugh's third named accuser, Julie Swetnick, has been outed as a mentally unstable, pathologically attention-seeking, individual who may have lied in a sworn affidavit. In light of this, and multiple inconsistencies and gaps in Ford's testimony highlighted by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who said Ford's testimony wouldn't be sufficient to bring charges or even justify a search warrant, Democrats have shifted toward focusing on whether Kavanaugh lied under oath by saying he never "blacked out" - something that, conveniently, only Kavanaugh could ever know for certain.
Already, lawyers for Ford and Ramirez are complaining that the investigation is ending too soon, and that the probe has not been thorough enough.
In response to these complaints, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley accused Democrats of meddling int he process.
"The FBI conducts background investigations in accordance with the agency’s standard operating procedures, and it has done so six previous times for Judge Kavanaugh," Grassley wrote. "I’m confident that the FBI agents tasked with this responsibility will not succumb to public political pressure or politicians telling the agency how to do its job. Respectfully, the career public servants and professionals at the FBI know what they’re doing and how best to conduct a background investigation."
Meanwhile, Swetnick attorney Michael Avenatti (who also famously represented Stormy Daniels) is claiming that he has found another Kavanaugh accuser whom he claimed would be able and willing to speak with the FBI on Wednesday.
Yet another accuser has come forward (see sworn stmt below). She is prepared to meet with the FBI today and disclose multiple facts and witnesses. pic.twitter.com/eNsCAau6no— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 3, 2018
Of course, given his past behavior, those claims should be highly suspect. In fact, Avenatti is still complaining about the FBI's decision to exclude his client from the probe, even going so far as to harass a staffer on the Judiciary Committee.
On Tuesday, Mike Davis, who works as the nominations counsel for Grassley, reportedly told Avenatti: "We have already reviewed your client's allegations. We focus on credible allegations. Please stop emailing me."
However, Avenatti should be careful what he wishes for. Given that his client likely committed perjury by lying in her affidavit, if the FBI does decide to pay her a visit, they might be coming not to interview her, but to slap the cuffs on.