Grassley: Judiciary Committee Senators Will Get 'Alternating EQUAL Access' to FBI Results -- Ahead of Friday Cloture Vote

By Susan Jones | October 4, 2018 | 5:55am EDT
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) (Photo: Screen capture)

( - In three tweets very early Thursday morning, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, announced that the results of the seventh FBI background investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh have been received by the committee.

The White House, which reopened the background investigation last Friday, sent over the report -- one printed copy -- in the middle of the night.

(Sources told the Wall Street Journal the FBI report produced no corroboration of sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, but Democrats already have moved on to his drinking history, and whether he lied/misled the committee on that topic.)

According to Grassley, "Ranking Member Feinstein & I have agreed to alternating EQUAL access" for senators to study what "non-partisan FBI agents" found. The report will not be made public, and press reports said it is on paper only -- no pdf's.

All 100 senators will have a chance to see it in a secure area, but only after the Judiciary Committee members get a look.

Grassley noted that the FBI supplemental investigation was specificially limited to "current/credible allegations." He noted that the scope of the re-opened investigation was agreed to by a "bipartisan" group of senators, including Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Chris Coons.

"Dr Ford & Judge Kavanaugh had opportunity to testify under oath b4 public/cmte to tell senators what they know," Grassley tweeted, apparently anticipating criticism that neither the accuser nor the accused were re-interviewed by the FBI.

Grassley tweeted that the FBI material will be handled as outlined by a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by President Obama's White House counseld and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who was then serving as Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Grassley called the FBI material a "'loan agreement' of Executive Branch material."

He noted that Sens. Feinstein, Durbin, Schumer, & others were on Judiciary Committee in 2009 and "didn't object" to the MOU.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he filed cloture on Wednesday, a move to cut off debate ahead of the promised floor vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

"There will be plenty of time for Members to review and be briefed on this supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote," McConnell tweeted.

President Trump tweeted late Wednesday night: "Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!"

The question now is whether the three wobbly Republicans -- Flake, Collins and Murkowski -- will vote yes on Kavanaugh.

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