McConnell: FBI report won’t be ‘reason for delay’ on Kavanaugh vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the release of an FBI report on allegations against Brett Kavanaugh will not “be used as another reason for delay” in the Senate’s consideration of the nomination and vowed that there will be a vote this week.
In response to a question about how long senators will have to review the FBI findings prior to a vote, McConnell said at a news conference, “It shouldn’t take long … they’ll read it as quickly as they can. But that will not be used as another reason for delay. I can tell you that.”
McConnell added, “What I can tell you with certainty is we will have an FBI report this week and we will have a vote this week.”
The FBI has not yet completed an investigation into allegations facing Kavanaugh, but is expected to complete its inquiry this week. The investigation was initiated at the direction of the White House after a request by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who called for the inquiry last week with the backing of fellow GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.
It remains unclear exactly when the FBI will conclude its review, however, and when the report will available to senators.
Flake called for the investigation after Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s first public accuser, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in emotional testimony last week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a social gathering in the early 1980’s. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations against him.
McConnell indicated on Tuesday that when the FBI report will not be made public, saying, “it will be made available to each senator and only senators will be allowed to look at it.”
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer outlined a series of requests on Tuesday that are at odds with McConnell’s proposed plan, including that the report be made public.
Schumer said that the results of the FBI investigation “should be released publicly with any personal information redacted,” and called on the White House to “publicly release the directive to the FBI so we can clear up once and for all the scope of their background check investigation.”
Schumer also emphasized that he wants there to be “a briefing of all the senators from the agent in charge of the investigation before the vote.”
“We need to be briefed by the FBI. By the agent in charge … on the extent of the investigation before there is a vote,” Schumer said.