On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a 414-page document presenting its summary report and exhibits regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In the 28-page summary of its findings, the committee explained that after speaking with 45 individuals and taking 25 written statements, it did not find “any evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations” against Kavanaugh.
“The revelation of last minute allegations tested the committee in many ways,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a statement Friday. “But these investigative efforts rose to the occasion and were critical to helping us obtain the truth. This was a serious and thorough investigation that left no stone unturned in our pursuit of the facts. In the end, there was no credible evidence to support the allegations against the nominee.”
In its announcement of the report, the committee notes that its investigators “spoke with 45 individuals and took 25 written statements relating to the various allegations made in the course of the Supreme Court confirmation process.” Citing the supplementary FBI investigation ordered by the committee, the committee states that neither found “any evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations.”
The committee also notes that it has submitted multiple people to the Justice Department for review for “potential violations of Senate rules, potential witness tampering, and potential false statements made to the Committee in violation of federal law,” including Kavanaugh-accuser Julie Swetnick, lawyer Michael Avenatti, and Judy Munro-Leighton.
“Despite the Committee’s best efforts to ensure a timely and thorough review, an eleventh-hour news report released the day before a scheduled Committee vote on Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination disrupted the Senate’s exhaustive confirmation process,” the committee states after summarizing the extensive background review of the nominee it conducted. “On September 12, 2018, the media reported that Ranking Member Feinstein possessed a letter from an unidentified woman detailing an incident involving her and Justice Kavanaugh when they were in high school. As details of that allegation unfolded, the Committee’s Majority Nominations Unit paired with the Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Unit to investigate the allegations. These joint efforts, with up to 40 attorneys, law clerks, and other professionals from the Chairman’s staff, continued over the following month as the Committee received several additional allegations of sexual misconduct.”
“All interviews were conducted in an objective and fair manner aimed at producing a final determination of fact with respect to the allegations levied against Justice Kavanaugh,” the committee asserts. “In order to accomplish that, investigators conducted extensive interviews with individuals who knew Justice Kavanaugh in high school and college; investigators also conducted extensive interviews with individuals who knew the accusers in order to better weigh the credibility of their allegations. In sum, the Committee spoke to 45 individuals and collected 25 written statements.”
The committee also notes that a “large portion of individuals providing testimony in support of Justice Kavanaugh asked that their names be redacted out of fear that their statements might result in personal or professional retribution or personal physical harm – or even risk the safety and well-being of their families and friends,” so the committee respected those requests for anonymity and redacted their names from documents.
“After an extensive investigation that included the thorough review of all potentially credible evidence submitted and interviews of more than 40 individuals with information relating to the allegations, including classmates and friends of all those involved, Committee investigators found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against Justice Kavanaugh,” the committee concludes. “In other words, following the separate and extensive investigations by both the Committee and the FBI, there was no evidence to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault made against Justice Kavanaugh.”
The committee goes on to cite all of the people it interviewed about the most high-profile allegations, including those by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick, the last of which was referred to the Justice Department for criminal investigation for “providing false statements, obstructing congressional investigations, and conspiracy to violate federal law.”
Regarding Ford’s claims, the committee says it contacted all of the alleged witnesses she named – Mark Judge, Patrick J. (P.J.) Smyth, and Leland Keyser – as well as 14 former classmates of Ford and Kavanaugh. “None of them had any knowledge of the conduct alleged against Justice Kavanaugh by Dr. Ford or of the gathering at which she claimed to have been assaulted,” the committee underscores. “The Committee also reviewed a letter submitted by 65 women who have known Justice Kavanaugh since high school stating that he has a reputation for treating women with decency and respect.”
The committee also notes that it was contacted separately and independently by two men who “believed they had an encounter with Dr. Ford around the time of the alleged incident. Although each individual described details that in some respects seemed to fit Dr. Ford’s allegations against Justice Kavanaugh, both men described consensual encounters.”