As the FBI begins investigating sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one key interview will not take place: Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse the judge of sexual misconduct against women, will not have the opportunity to speak with investigators.
President Donald Trump has said the FBI is free to pursue the investigation in any way investigators “deem appropriate”, but reports suggest there are strict limits in place that will hamper a thorough investigation.
> “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion,” Mr. Trump wrote. He denied an NBC News report that he was limiting the inquiry and that investigators were not permitted to examine the claims of Julie Swetnick, a woman who has said she witnessed a severely drunken Judge Kavanaugh mistreat women at parties in high school, and that he had attended parties where high school boys gang-raped teenage girls.
However, two sources told The Times that Swetnick will not be interviewed by investigators. Instead, they will speak with Kavanaugh’s high school friend and alleged accomplice Mark Judge regarding her claims.
> The bureau will investigate aspects of the allegations made by Dr. Blasey, Ms. Swetnick and a third woman, Deborah Ramirez. She has said Judge Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during their freshman year at Yale. Ms. Ramirez’s lawyer, John Clune, said on Saturday that the F.B.I. had “reached out to interview Ms. Ramirez, and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation.”
> The F.B.I. plans to ask Mr. Judge about both Ms. Swetnick’s and Dr. Blasey’s allegations. Ms. Swetnick has said that Mr. Judge was at the parties where she saw Judge Kavanaugh mistreat women, and Dr. Blasey has said he was in the room when Judge Kavanaugh assaulted her. He has denied the allegations of both women.
> The F.B.I. did not plan to question Ms. Swetnick herself, according to the two people familiar with the matter. Ms. Swetnick’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said on Twitter on Saturday that they had not heard from the bureau.
The FBI will interview four witnesses, The Times said: "Mr. Judge; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of Dr. Blasey’s whom she said attended the party but was not told of the assault; P.J. Smyth, another party guest; and Ms. Ramirez, the Yale accuser."
Following those interviews, investigators will report their findings to the White House, which will then determine if further investigation is warranted.
> The witness list did not extend to high school and college classmates who have said in interviews that Judge Kavanaugh drank heavily, including some who said he went beyond typical consumption.