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What are the responses to the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh?
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There should be a hearing but no FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh

The FBI has no remit to investigate. Instead, both parties should appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee instead.


An FBI investigation is not warranted and would be too time-consuming. A hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee would be a more efficient way of investigating the allegations.

The Argument

The incident only constitutes a violation of state law, and the incident happened more than 30 years ago. It does not fall under the federal jurisdiction. The FBI does not investigate violations of state law, only federal crimes. Attempted rape is not a federal crime.[1] However, these are serious allegations and there should be an opportunity for both parties to present their stories. The Senate Judiciary Committee can be the jury.[2] Grassley has added that there should be no witnesses called. “We’ve got two people involved,” he said, “and two people ought to be able to present their stories”.

Counter arguments

At the very least, there should be other witnesses called to testify at the hearing. According to Ford, there was another individual in the room at the time of the alleged assault. This witness has been identified as Mark Judge. He should be called to testify under oath. There are other witnesses available. One of Ford’s neighbours, Rebecca White, recounted Ford telling her about the incident in 2017, long before Kavanaugh’s nomination.[2] There are also significant ethical concerns in holding a hearing. Ford, an alleged victim of sexual abuse, will have to stand in front of 24 US Senators, on live television, and relive a highly traumatic incident, with the alleged abuser sitting at the same table. It puts the alleged victim in a highly uncomfortable situation, and reduce the investigation to little more than an exercise of “he said”, “she said”.[3]



The FBI cannot investigate given its limited scope. The Senate Judiciary Committee can hold a hearing to investigate instead.

Rejecting the premises

The FBI can reopen the background check. The White House just has to give the order.


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 07:25 UTC

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