Saturday, 20 October, 2018

White House gives Federal Bureau of Investigation freer rein in Kavanaugh probe

The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill
Andrew Cummings | 03 October, 2018, 09:32

President Donald Trump pauses as he takes reporters' questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Oct. 1, 2018.

In his own testimony, Kavanaugh denied the accusation, as well as allegations by two other women of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

His opening statement suggested the inquiry into Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault allegation was motivated by Democratic bitterness over the 2016 election and his role in the investigation of former US president Bill Clinton.

As if the details of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's past behavior weren't already painful enough, on Monday night, the New York Times reported that he was once involved in a bar fight with a man he thought was the lead singer of that mostly white reggae band UB40 (of "Red Red Wine" fame).

Some Republican senators had made clear to the White House through phone calls that a severely limited investigation into Kavanaugh was not what they had in mind when they launched the probe on Friday.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said that when Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he abandoned any pretense of being an impartial jurist and revealed that he bears "bitter partisan resentments". The FBI did not immediately respond to request for comment. She faces Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee in next month's special election for the remainder of the two-year term.

Ford alleges that a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and placed his hand over her mouth to silence her when both were teenagers in Maryland in the early 1980s. She claims a friend of Kavanaugh's, Mark Judge, was in the room and aided in the alleged assault.

A person familiar with the matter said the Federal Bureau of Investigation questioned Deborah Ramirez for more than two hours on Sunday and that she provided the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a list of more than 20 possible witnesses.

U.S. reports also say former classmates of the judge's who have stressed his heavy college drinking are not on the witness list.

"The issues of credibility and temperament are not something that happened 30 years ago; they're about Judge Kavanaugh today and how he is as a 53-year-old", Minority Leader Sen. "I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name - and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building - against these last-minute allegations".

His attorney, Barbara "Biz" Van Gelder, wouldn't say Tuesday when the interview concluded or what Judge was asked.

Sanders congratulates Bezos on $15 minimum wage
Accordingly, retailers, who employ a sizable share of the nation's lower-paid workers, have been stepping up pay increases. Beyond the US, Amazon announced it will pay 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

Tesla Q3 2018 Vehicle Production and Deliveries Nasdaq:TSLA
The electric vehicle maker said it was speeding up construction of its Shanghai factory as it seeks to combat the hefty tariffs. After missing earlier goals, Tesla hit a targeted weekly production rate of 5,000 Model 3s in final week of the second quarter.

American Bar Association urges U.S. Senate to delay Kavanaugh vote
Lindsay Graham after the South Carolina Republican railed against Democrats, accusing them of treating Kavanaugh "despicably". She said Kavanaugh and a friend of his, Mark Judge, were drunk at the 1982 party when they pushed her into a bedroom.

USA media reports earlier suggested the White House wanted to restrict the inquiry into Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Judge is a former classmate of Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault. "We hope that this reporting is inaccurate", Ford's attorneys wrote. The reports also suggested that the White House was limiting the list of witnesses.

The FBI has reopened a background investigation to examine allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh dating to when he was in high school and college.

Trump has rejected in recent days the notion he's "limiting" the investigation. "Whatever that means according to the senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority, I want them to do that".

The paper has published police reports but personal information has been redacted.

Avenatti, who has said he is considering a Democratic run for the presidency in 2020, is also representing Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who was paid to remain silent about an alleged affair with Trump.

It all started when the man, Dom Cozzolino, said Kavanaugh threw ice at him "for some unknown reason", according to a newly surfaced police report from the incident.

Flake said he would ensure it's a "real investigation", by the FBI as Democrats demanded that Trump give them a full readout of his instructions to the agency.

"The FBI needs to be allowed to pursue all reasonable investigatory steps from the credible allegations in front of the committee", he said.

For those of us bingewatching the Trump method, this is straight out of the classic Trump playbook that goes back to the 2016 campaign. So far, no Democrat has announced support for Kavanaugh and no Republican has declared opposition to him.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Trump decries "trauma" done to Kavanaugh, calls for "comprehensive" investigation".

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