POLITICS

Utah Senators Support New Kavanaugh FBI Investigation

Sep 28, 2018, 7:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee said Friday afternoon that they support a new, week-long FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The investigation comes after Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a full Senate vote should be delayed so that federal investigators can look into the claims from Christine Blasey Ford—who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school.

“This country is being ripped apart here and we’ve got to make sure that we do due diligence,” Flake said. “I think this committee has done a good job, but I do think that we can have a short pause and make sure that the FBI can investigate.”

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake

With that, Flake voted along party lines with other Republicans to successfully advance Kavanaugh’s nomination. Committee members Hatch and Lee also voted yes, and later said in statements that they back the new investigation.

“I support the decision for an investigation limited in length and scope as described today,” Hatch said. “This will address the concerns raised by Senator Flake and others while also being fair to the Kavanaugh family.”

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch

Hatch said that while he personally believes it’s appropriate to proceed with the confirmation process for Kavanaugh, he recognizes that some lawmakers, “feel that additional investigation could be useful.”

In his statement, Lee also emphasized the one-week timeline for the investigation.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee completed a professional investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegation this week,” Lee said. “But since some of my colleagues believe one more week of FBI investigation will bring us closer to truth, I support that investigation and I look forward to voting for Judge Kavanaugh soon.”

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee

Following the request from the judiciary committee, President Donald Trump reversed course and reopened the vetting of Kavanaugh.

“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” President Trump said in a statement. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

Friday evening, Kavanaugh also released a statement.

“Throughout this process, I’ve been interviewed by the FBI, I’ve done a number of ‘background’ calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the Senators and their counsel asked me,” Kavanaugh said. “I’ve done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate.”

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Utah Senators Support New Kavanaugh FBI Investigation