Third Kavanaugh accuser to be excluded from FBI investigation

Michael Avenatti the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks to the press after a court hearing at the United States Courthouse

Republicans, who are trying to retain control of the U.S. Congress in November elections, seek to balance their desire to have a conservative judge on the Supreme Court with sensitivity in how they handle the sexual misconduct allegations amid the reverberations of the #MeToo movement.

The Republican senator from Utah wrote that Christine Blasey Ford - the woman who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a party they attended in high school - as well as others who attended the gathering have agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Deborah Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and shoved his penis in her face at a dorm party while they were students at Yale University.

Kavanaugh has already denied four allegations against him in sworn testimony under the penalty of perjury. An FBI investigation has been sought by Senate Democrats, as well as Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who testified Thursday that Kavanaugh attacked her in 1982.

While President Trump and most Republicans said that they thought the testimony of both Ford and Kavanaugh to be "very credible", this tendency to believe both the accuser and the accused were telling the truth was not shared by the public at large.

A short time later, President Donald Trump ordered an investigation.

Kavanaugh on Friday continued to defend himself and said he will be cooperating with FBI investigators.

On Sunday Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump counselor, told CNN's State of the Union: "We trust the hardworking men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do their jobs, and they will determine what will be included within that scope". "And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine".

"The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today", it said after Republican Senator Jeff Flake demanded the same.

When Flake was asked if he would have requested the FBI investigation if he was running for re-election this year, he answered: "Not a chance".

Flake had released a statement that morning announcing that he would vote in favor of moving Kavanaugh's nomination out of committee and onto the Senate floor. Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film actor who says she had a sexual affair with Trump, a claim the president denies.

McConnell urged Trump to support Kavanaugh but to avoid attacking his accusers, warning that he was in charge of counting votes and those kinds of disparaging remarks could cause him to lose Republican senators whose votes could be key to confirming Kavanaugh, including Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, they said.

The FBI and a spokesman for the Senate judiciary committee did not immediately return requests for comment about the Times report. "She has been victimized by Democrats...on a search-and-destroy mission for Brett Kavanaugh", Cotton said, according to Politico.

Kavanaugh has denied assaulting Ford.

Kennedy said he asked Kavanaugh directly before the hearing if the accusations were true.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a centrist Democrat who was instrumental in helping convince Flake to urge for a delay in the confirmation process, argued that severely limiting the list of witnesses whom the FBI is allowed to interview does not represent a serious investigation.

A third woman, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh and his high school friend Mark Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations.

"We heard her provide details in that story that can be corroborated and other facts that can be uncovered if we hear from other witnesses", Blumenthal said.

Conway suggested on Sunday that the ire of many victims was improperly pointed at Republican supporters of Kavanaugh, as opposed to the perpetrators of the assaults.

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