Democratic senator: Kavanaugh FBI report ‘won’t change any minds’

Sen. Jeff Merkley said Thursday that the FBI’s supplemental investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “won’t change any minds.”

“Well, the report itself is empty,” the Oregon Democrat said of the FBI report in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”

“It was designed to be empty, so no, the report won’t change any minds.”

The background check was reopened a day after a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week in which Christine Blasey Ford publicly alleged Kavanaugh had assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s. Kavanaugh testified that Ford’s allegations, and other allegations of sexual misconduct made against him, were false.

While the report was not made available to the public, senators were permitted Thursday to view the results.

“What we know for sure is the FBI report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “And the second thing we know for sure is that there’s no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats.”

Senate Democrats largely dismissed the report as incomplete, citing complaints from individuals who claim to have relevant information but were not contacted.

“This investigation was a complete cover-up,” Merkley added. “A complete sham.”

Kavanaugh’s confirmation now rests in the hands of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and three Republicans: Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine. While Murkowski did not offer her impression of the report Thursday, Flake and Collins indicated they were pleased with the probe.

“It appears to be a very thorough investigation,” Collins said.

A cloture vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination is scheduled for Friday, with a final confirmation vote as early as Saturday.