Trump says he doesn't think FBI should be involved in investigating Kavanaugh allegation

Trump says the FBI shouldn't get involved any further in Kavanaugh claims.

September 18, 2018, 6:33 PM

President Trump on Tuesday said "there shouldn't even be a little doubt" about his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who has denied a sexual assault allegation and any concerns should be addressed through the confirmation process.

“Hopefully the woman will come forward, state her case,” Trump said Tuesday during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon with Polish President Andrzej Duda. “He will state his case before representatives of the United States Senate. And then they will vote, they will look at his career, they will look at what she had to say from 36 years ago, and we will see what happens.”

Democrats have insisted that, before any public hearing with the nominee and his accuser, the FBI should look into an allegation made by professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school decades ago in suburban Maryland.

Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 4, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The attorney for Mark Judge, who according to the Washington Post is described in the letter as being present during the incident, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he does not remember Kavanaugh acting "in the manner Dr. Ford describes."

He added that he has "no memory of this alleged incident" and that he does not "wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford's letter."

Democrats have also been writing to White House Counsel Don McGahn and to Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to request the FBI re-open its investigation into Kavanaugh.

And as he did earlier in the day, Trump said that while he didn't think the FBI should be involved, “is not what they do.”

The FBI has not commented on Trump's contention that the agency does not want to get involved. According to sources familiar with the FBI's background investigation process, the allegation was passed on to the White House, but the agency would take no further action unless ordered to do so by the White House.

Kavanaugh, who was back at the White House on Tuesday for the second day in a row, has repeatedly denied the alleged encounter ever happened.

The president said he has not personally spoken with Kavanaugh since the allegation surfaced, saying “specifically I thought it would be a good thing not to.”

Trump also defended Kavanaugh's reputation as a judge pointing out that his nominee has had multiple background checks throughout his career and called his history "impeccable."

"I feel so badly for him that he is going through this," Trump said.

President Donald Trump arrives at a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Reception at the White House in Washington, DC, Sept. 12, 2018.
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The sexual assault allegation became public after the contents of a letter Ford sent to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, were disclosed to several media outlets.

Asked if he believes the allegation is political in nature, the president said earlier on Tuesday: “I don't want to say that. Maybe I will say that in a couple of days, but not now."

Trump, however, attacked Democrats for “holding” onto the allegation, saying it was “a terrible thing that took place” when the story surfaced over the weekend.

“It's a terrible thing that took place and it's frankly a terrible thing that this information was not given to us months ago when they got it,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing ahead with plans to hear testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford on Monday.

This, despite the numerous calls from Democrats to slow down the process and allow the FBI to re-open its background investigation into Kavanaugh so that they can determine the facts of what happened to Ford in high school when she alleges Kavanaugh forced himself on her.

"She's been asking for the opportunity to be heard and she's being given the opportunity to be heard on Monday," McConnell told reporters.

"She could do it privately if she prefers or publicly if she prefers. Monday is her opportunity," he said.

Christine Blasey, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a party in the 1980s, is pictured in a high school yearbook from the time of the alleged incident.
Holton Arms School Yearbook

Democrats are crying foul over Grassley's decision to not allow other witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford to testify.

Grassley has said Ford has still not accepted his invitation to appear before the Judiciary Committee on Monday.

However, McConnell and GOP leadership are forging ahead with the hearing.

"There have been multiple investigations. Judge Kavanaugh has been through six investigations in the course of his lengthy public career. We want to give the accuser the opportunity to be heard and that opportunity will occur next Monday," McConnell reiterated.

"I think that gives her ample opportunity to express her point of view and Judge Kavanaugh, of course, has been anxious for days to discuss the matter as well," McConnell said.

Feinstein told ABC News on Tuesday that she has not yet heard from Kavanaugh's accuser, but suggested Republicans should be working harder to get in touch with her.

"As I understand it she’s been emailed hopefully by now the majority who regretfully is not working with us on this will pick up the phone and call and talk with her, and I think that’s the appropriate thing to do," she said.

ABC News' Jack Date, Trish Turner, and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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