The FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, suggesting a wider investigation than just the allegations made by Palo Alto University Professor Christine Blasey Ford.
“She has agreed to cooperate with their investigation,” a statement from Ramirez attorney John Clune said, according to The Washington Post.
“Out of respect for the integrity of the process, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Ramirez, now a Colorado resident, was a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who alleged to The New Yorker that Kavanaugh had shoved his genitals in her face at a drunken party in the early 1980s.
The New Yorker acknowledged that Ramirez was initially “reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty” because she was drinking at the time it allegedly took place.
“After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” The New Yorker reported on Sept. 23.
However, Ramirez was at first reluctant to appear before the Judiciary Committee, and negotiations with her attorneys over the course of the week seemed to be stalled, according to Colorado Public Radio.
Before he left Washington for a rally in West Virginia, President Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge that the weeklong investigation would go beyond Ford, saying that the FBI would be “all over talking to everybody,” according to The Associated Press. “They have free rein, they can do whatever they have to do, whatever it is that they do. They’ll be doing things we have never even thought of.”
The president, who ordered the investigation under pressure from Senate Republicans like Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, added that the investigation “will be a blessing in disguise. It will be a good thing,” according to The Washington Times.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, however, stated that the investigation would be limited to “current, credible allegations against the nominee.” That, at least so far, doesn’t include Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick, who hasn’t been contacted by the committee.
Swetnick, who attended high school in the same area as Kavanaugh but graduated several years earlier, alleged in a sworn statement that the nominee and his friends were part of a “gang rape” ring that would ply women with drugs and alcohol at parties and then sexually abuse them.
She’s alleged that she witnessed this behavior at high school parties between 1981 and 1983 and was victim of one of the assaults in 1982. Some doubt was cast on her account, however, given that she had graduated high school in 1980, and likelihood of college students routinely attending high school parties is traditionally low.
Her lawyer, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, lambasted the FBI in a statement Saturday for not contacting his client.
“We have not heard anything from the FBI, and with each passing hour, I’m growing increasingly concerned that this is a sham of an investigation,” Avenatti said.
We have yet to hear from the FBI. When and if we do, we will promptly disclose to them all information and witnesses in our possession. We continue to request this opportunity as we have been doing for days. My client is telling the truth and deserves to be heard and not shammed.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 29, 2018
“Why would Miss Ramirez be questioned but not my client?” he added, noting that given her security clearances, giving a false statement could end her career. “Donald Trump is not supposed to be determining who is credible. That’s the job of the FBI.”
It wasn’t just the bizarre nature of her allegations, the dates during which they happened or the representation of an attorney like Avenatti that cast doubt upon her account, however.
The Daily Caller reported Friday that Swetnick had been dismissed and sued by an employer in 2000 for defamation and fraud. The suit also noted that she had lied about graduating from Johns Hopkins University and had engaged in “unwelcome sexual innuendo and inappropriate conduct” toward male employees during a lunch. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.
The complaint also said Swetnick had made “false and retaliatory allegations” of sexual misbehavior against two other male employees, allegations that were supposedly retracted by Swetnick when they couldn’t be corroborated.
The president has also told reporters he wants the FBI investigation to include who leaked the existence of Christine Blasey Ford’s to the press.
“I think, frankly, the FBI has a chance to reveal a lot of different things. I’d like to find out who leaked the papers,” Trump said, according to The Washington Times.
“Was it Senator Feinstein? Certainly her body language was not exactly very good when they asked her that question. I would like to find out as part of it who leaked the papers, which Democrat leaked the papers.”
It’s a good bet Democrats don’t want any FBI probe going that wide.
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