White House not 'micromanaging' Kavanaugh probe


Republicans, who are trying to retain control of the U.S. Congress in November elections, seek to balance their desire to have a conservative judge on the Supreme Court with sensitivity in how they handle the sexual misconduct allegations amid the reverberations of the #MeToo movement. In a tweet Saturday, Mr. Trump wrote, "I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion".

"The White House is not micromanaging this process", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."The Senate is dictating the terms", she said".

Conway told CNN's "State of the Union" that she was only aware of the parameters the Senate set on the probe.

"We can confirm that the FBI has reached out to interview Ramirez and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation", Ramirez's attorney, John Clune, told CNN on Saturday.

The FBI can not force someone to talk to them as part of the process.

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Justice Department and the FBI to open a criminal investigation into "apparent false statements" that were made to committee investigators alleging sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh in 1985.

The FBI and a spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee did not immediately return requests for comment about the Times report.

During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on allegations of sexual assault leveled by accuser Christine Blasey Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh delivered an emotional denial and a stunning rebuke of the confirmation process, at times breaking down in tears.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation. Two other women have accused the appeals court judge of sexual misconduct.

Lawyers for P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser, two others who Ford said were in the house when she was attacked, have said their clients are willing to co-operate "fully" with the FBI's investigation.

Swetnick's accusations, brought forward in a sworn statement by lawyer and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Avenatti, have been treated much more gingerly, including by Democrats, due to a lack of corroboration.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and staunch supporter of Kavanaugh's nomination, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe would include talking to Ford. The administration is said to be working closely with Senate Republicans on the matter, and Arizona Sen.

Don McGahn is the current White House counsel, and a friend of Kavanaugh. "I mean, come on".

Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. "They want to talk to Ms. Ramirez, because she refused to talk to the committee".

"And I as it went on - I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp".

Kavanaugh says he's done "everything" the Senate has asked of him and "will continue to cooperate".

"To see his family behind him, as Chris said, it was anger, but if I were unjustly accused, that's how I would feel as well", Flake said in an interview airing Sunday evening.

"Ford is political collateral, and they do not care", Mace said.

Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel and a Republican state representative from Daniel Island, South Carolina, said she had been sexually assaulted as a teen herself. Kavanaugh, testifying hours later, said he was "100 percent" certain that he was innocent of the accusation.

"I would support the other person, and I think there's a lot of other people that would", she said. Joe Manchin said he supported Flake's call to push off a full Senate vote until the FBI investigates Ford's allegation.

Flake was looking at the elevator floor while the two women berated him. "I don't know, have you?" Just what the FBI will investigate remains a mystery.

"The people who have real leverage on this thing are the three Republican senators who are still undecided", she said.