Doug Jones wants to subpoena Kavanaugh’s friend but not his accuser
Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) on Tuesday told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Mark Judge, the longtime friend of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh who allegedly witnessed the sexual assault Dr. Christine Blasey Ford claims took place over 30 years ago, should be subpoenaed to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judge submitted a letter through an attorney to the committee earlier that day saying he had “no memory of this alleged incident.”
“Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter,” he added in the letter. “More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes. I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not want to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford’s letter.”
Yet, Jones has since signaled that he is fine with the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, refusing the committee’s invitation to testify at a hearing scheduled for Monday.
“You can count on the fact that letter, his response, is going to be entered in the record by someone and that needs to be tested as well,” Jones said about Judge. “And I just think this committee, if he doesn’t want to do it and they’re going to go forward with a hearing, they need to subpoena him, let him say that and let some senators or someone cross-examine him.”
Jones has said “We need to slow this process down” and that an FBI investigation is necessary before Ford can testify in front of the Senate, but that same standard does not seem to apply to Judge.
Jones’ demand that Judge be cross-examined by the Senate would seem to make an FBI investigation redundant and has observers asking, “If the Senate can handle the cross-examining of Judge, why could they not do the same for Ford?”
In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Jones doubled down on his calls for the process to be slowed down and refused to answer a direct question about whether the Democrats on the judiciary committee had handled the accusation fairly.
“The only way to be fair to everyone is to let the FBI get engaged in this, to look at the facts,” Jones asserted. “That’s what they’re trained to do.”
.@SenDougJones: “I think that we have to be fair to Judge Kavanaugh. We have to be fair to Dr. Ford…The only way to be fair to everyone is to let the FBI get engaged in this.” https://t.co/b4OKwiFNqt pic.twitter.com/rgiBnSVC95
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 19, 2018
Per a Fox News source with knowledge of the process, in an FBI background investigation, the bureau is only responsible for finding information and passing it along, which they have already done in the Kavanaugh case. The same source added that the FBI would not “investigate” the information found.
This echoes what a Justice Department spokesman explained earlier this week, saying, “The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation.”
On Sept. 12, the FBI received a letter dated from July 2018, obtained by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), making the allegations against Kavanaugh.
“The FBI forwarded this letter to the White House Counsel’s Office,” the DOJ spokesperson outlined. “The allegation does not involve any potential federal crime. The FBI’s role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers.”
An FBI spokesperson, earlier this week, said in a statement that this letter from Ford was “included as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process.”
Kavanaugh has made it clear he is “willing” to speak to the judiciary committee “in any way” deemed appropriate to “refute this false allegation” and to defend his “integrity.” Ford and her attorneys still have not responded to committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), yet her lead attorney did say on CNN on Tuesday that she would not accept the committee’s invitation for a Monday hearing.
President Donald Trump has said, “If she shows up, that would be wonderful. If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn