The Corner

Law & the Courts

Don’t Expect the FBI Report to Resolve Much

It’s not surprising to see senators already arguing about the FBI investigation, before the bureau turns in its report. But unless one of the individuals the FBI interviews changes their previous statements, we already know more or less what the report will say.

Mark Judge: I don’t remember anything like this ever happening.

P. J. Smyth: I don’t remember anything like this ever happening.

Leland Keyser: I don’t remember anything like this ever happening but I believe Christine Blasey Ford anyway.

Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez: “After six days of carefully assessing my memories and consulting with my attorney,” I remember Kavanaugh exposing himself at a party.

Those are the four individuals that we know the FBI is interviewing. Senate Democrats have urged the FBI to interview dozens of other individuals, including Julie Swetnick. Many Democrats seem to believe that Mark Judge’s former girlfriend, Elizabeth Rasor, will blow the case wide open by offering an account claiming to have heard Judge describe events that are somewhat similar to some of Swetnick’s claims:

Rasor recalled that Judge had told her ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman. Rasor said that Judge seemed to regard it as fully consensual. She said that Judge did not name others involved in the incident, and she has no knowledge that Kavanaugh participated.

Barbara Van Gelder, an attorney for Judge, said that he “categorically denies” the account related by Rasor. Van Gelder said that Judge had no further comment.

Even if the FBI chooses to examine that hearsay, the final report is unlikely to reach a conclusion on whether or not the accusations are true. We all remember our old friend Joe Biden telling everyone in 1991:

 The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything. FBI explicitly does not, in this or any other case, reach a conclusion, period. Period. The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report [is] you would not like it if we did because it is inconclusive. They say, ‘He said, she said, and they said. Period.’ So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not, they do not reach conclusions.

The FBI report is likely to turn into another Rorschach test, with Democrats saying, “from the information in this report, it is clear Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the court” and GOP saying “this report completely exonerates him.”

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