A growing list of Republican senators is calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to publicly release the findings of an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, McConnell rejected a request to have the FBI brief all senators on its report on the sexual assault allegations.
“The briefing you request is not authorized by the MOU. It would be unprecedented and irregular. For example, there was no such briefing on the supplemental BI for the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court,” McConnell wrote in the letter.
He added that “in all candor” he believes Democrats only want to delay a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“I believe it would be used to further delay this nomination-a goal about which you and your Democratic colleagues have been abundantly clear and single-minded in pursuing,” McConnell said.
“The Chairman of the Committee has promptly and professionally investigated every credible (and incredible), last-minute allegation against Judge Kavanaugh, consistent with standard committee practices. The FBI’s supplemental BI will be handled in the same professional and customary manner,” McConnell continued.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Wednesday that McConnell should see to it that the FBI report’s findings are made public.
“I hope the FBI report is made public. Normally it’s not,” Kennedy said, according to Reuters.
“I personally think that would be a good idea,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said Tuesday. “In this instance, I don’t know how you can accuse somebody of the terrible things that Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of and have people satisfied without some sort of summary of what the FBI found.”
Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said that “in these circumstances,” the FBI report would be made public.
“This is a supplemental background investigation,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). “We should explain to people what that means. They don’t draw conclusions; they gather information. It’s left up to us to draw conclusions.”
“I’m actually of the view that whatever could be made public here, should be. But that would be well outside the normal way these things are treated,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of leadership.
“I’m afraid if somehow or another we don’t make [the report] public both sides will be very selective with what they share with y’all,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters on Tuesday.
“I think that if you did anything different than it’s been done in all the years I’ve been in the Senate, you might actually hurt the FBI getting the information they want,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
“I’ve been reading FBI reports for 38 years. None of them have ever been made public,” he said.