Published 12:06 PM EDT Oct 9, 2018
In an almost party-line vote, senators voted this weekend to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, Republicans tell us, was rigorously conducted, and no evidence corroborating accusations by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez was found. The real problem, Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana says, are partisan Democrats on a “search and destroy mission” to undermine Kavanaugh.
In reality, the FBI investigation was a joke. I know because I tried to help FBI and was rebuffed.
I went to Yale with Kavanaugh, lived in the same residential halls, and graduated with him in 1987. The alleged incident between Kavanaugh and Ramirez, another classmate, occurred during 1983-1984 in a first floor “common room” in entryway “B” of Lawrance Hall. I lived on the first floor of an adjacent entryway (“A”). Kavanaugh lived in entryway “D.”
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Many of us who lived in Lawrance Hall during 1983-1984 approached the FBI last week offering help with its inquiries. I promised a list of names of people who may have attended the party at which Ramirez claims to have been assaulted. The FBI never returned my call. Based on what has now been revealed about the FBI report, I do not believe that the FBI contacted people on that list.
Other classmates had far more valuable information to provide. One can corroborate that he heard about the incident with Ramirez right after it occurred from a classmate. The FBI never returned his calls, either. A theologian at one of our nation’s leading universities, he did not “search and destroy.” He just wanted a proper look at the allegations so that we all could reach our own conclusions on the basis of facts, not hearsay and partisan mudslinging.
The FBI seems to have interviewed only 11 possible witnesses relevant to both Ford’s and Ramirez’s allegations. Who made the decision to limit the inquiry’s scope? The White House and Senate Republicans. Not surprisingly, the FBI was kept from following up on a long list of possible witnesses provided by Ramirez.
Despite Young’s claims, this was not a “thorough” FBI investigation. It was a political con job. Now Young is trying to get Hoosiers to buy into that con.
Likely under pressure from President Donald Trump and the Senate GOP leadership, the FBI ignored the information my classmates and I tried to provide. Trump and the GOP leadership had already made up their mind about Kavanaugh. Like Young, many previously announced that they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh regardless of the FBI’s findings. And then they helped rig the process so that the rest of us would never learn what we need to know.
Young and other GOP leaders hope to cover up their shenanigans by attacking those of us who wanted to get to the bottom of things. In fact, it is Young, Trump, and GOP Senate leaders who engaged in “search and destroy” against defenders of an impartial, thorough investigation.
The result? A new Supreme Court justice tainted because millions still do not know what to make of the accusations against Kavanaugh. A proper FBI investigation might have put Americans’ worries to rest. But Young and his GOP buddies made sure that investigation never happened. And now they add insult to injury by attacking patriots who care about their country and one of its great institutional pillars, the Supreme Court.
William E. Scheuerman is a political science professor at Indiana University (Bloomington) and a member of the Yale class of 1987. This column originally appeared in the Indy Star.