An FBI inquiry into a California woman’s allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would be highly unusual, but wouldn’t necessarily delay a Senate vote on confirmation, legal experts said.
Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of clinical psychology at Palo Alto University in California, alleges that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her when the two were teenagers in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to reconvene Monday to hear from both Ford, 51, and Kavanaugh, 53, a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2006.
But Tuesday night, Ford’s lawyer asked for an FBI investigation into the matter before Ford would talk to the committee.
“Dr. Ford’s request is in reverse order,” Michael J. Clark, a former 22-year FBI agent, told The Daily Signal. “If she does not come forward for a Senate hearing, the Senate is chasing its tail.”
Clark, who lectures in the criminal justice department of the University of New Haven, said the Senate then could decide to ask the FBI to look at the matter further.
“She should testify so senators can determine if she is credible,” Clark said. “If Dr. Ford provides information in a private or public setting, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hash this out to determine if they want to ask the FBI for additional background information.”
Any additional FBI probe would only be in the context of the Senate confirmation process, as Ford hasn’t alleged Kavanaugh committed a federal crime, the only criminal matter the FBI may investigate.
Only the Montgomery County Police Department, presuming the alleged incident occurred in its jurisdiction, could launch a criminal probe. But the county police have said they would not investigate unless Ford filed a complaint.
When doing background investigations for a Supreme Court nominee, the FBI interviews hundreds of individuals, Clark said, including past employers, past and present co-workers, past college professors and classmates.
The interviews produce findings “several feet thick” for the White House, without conclusion, he said.
The FBI’s background investigations even for district court nominees are exhaustive with dozens of interviews, Clark said. But, it is strictly information gathering.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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