Senate Panel Issues Report That Exonerates Kavanaugh of All Allegations

November 4, 2018 Updated: November 4, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee issued a report on Nov. 3 summarizing its investigation of allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The report concludes that there is no evidence to support the claims made by Kavanaugh’s accusers.

The committee instead found evidence that one accuser fabricated her accusation, while another accuser conspired with her attorney to make false claims. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) referred those involved for criminal investigation.

Investigators also found evidence of potential witness tampering and violations of Senate rules. The committee’s review of these issues is ongoing, according to the report.

The 414-page report (pdf) on Nov. 3 summarizes the investigative findings based on interviews with 45 people and a review of 25 written statements. The investigators found no evidence to corroborate the allegations against Kavanaugh. The FBI reached the same conclusion shortly before the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in early October.

“The revelation of last minute allegations tested the committee in many ways. But these investigative efforts rose to the occasion and were critical to helping us obtain the truth. This was a serious and thorough investigation that left no stone unturned in our pursuit of the facts,” Grassley said in a statement. “In the end, there was no credible evidence to support the allegations against the nominee.”

The report lifts the lid on the scale of the investigative effort that was triggered by 11th-hour accusations against Kavanaugh. A team of 40 attorneys, law clerks, and other professionals investigated all of the claims against Kavanaugh. Teams of 2-3 investigators conducted phone interviews and followed up on leads. The committee also monitored social media and news reports.

In addition to the allegations made by Christine Ford, the committee investigated claims made by Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, and three anonymous accusers.

The investigators concluded that there is no verifiable evidence to support the allegations lodged by Ford and Ramirez.

In Swetnick’s case, the committee probe unearthed evidence that both the accuser and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, conspired to lie to the committee and obstruct the investigation. Grassley referred both for criminal investigation.

Swetnick and Avenatti are not the only ones facing a potential FBI probe. The committee referred two more people to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.

Grassley referred a man whose name is redacted from the report for criminal investigation after he admitted on Twitter to fabricating the allegations against Kavanaugh. The man’s Twitter feed also included statements critical of President Donald Trump.

Grassley also referred Judy Munro-Leighton for lying to Congress and obstructing the committee’s investigation. Munro-Leighton admitted to investigators that she lied about being the author of a letter received by the committee. She told investigators that her claim was a “ploy” to “get attention.”

“The Committee is grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not one hundred percent sure about what they know,” Grassley said on Nov. 2. “But when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal.”

The committee’s ongoing investigation is looking to determine if Ford’s allies pressured Leland Keyser to change her initial statement to the committee. Investigators are looking into whether former FBI employee Monica McLean and others called Keyser requesting that she “clarify” her account. Ford reportedly coached McLean on how to pass a polygraph exam, according to the report.

The committee released its findings days before the midterm elections on Nov. 6. The bitter drama surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings energized GOP voters, who gave Republican candidates across the nation a lift in the polls.

President Donald Trump, aware that the issue inspires voters, now regularly mentions Kavanaugh during his rallies for GOP candidates. Over the course of  two weeks, Trump brought up Kavanaugh at rallies in Florida, Montana, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

“Remember when you’re going in to vote, remember what you say. Because nobody has ever been treated more unfairly than Brett Kavanaugh. What happened to him and his family was an absolute disgrace,” Trump said at a rally in North Carolina on Oct. 26.

“One of his accusers, false accusations, just came out a little while ago and said it was all a lie—that she never met now-Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump said at a rally in Montana on Nov. 3, before criticizing the state’s incumbent senator. “But you people knew what was going on. But you know what? Your senator, Tester … what he did was terrible.”

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