For the first time, a Republican congressman has come out in favor of an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. This first GOP movement away from hardline support from the embattled Supreme Court nominee comes just as a key swing vote among Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, starts to waver in her support for the judge accused of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
"I think there should be an investigation by the FBI. I really do," Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., told The Hill on Wednesday. "What in the world difference would 10 days make? Why not wait 10 days, why not wait two weeks to find out the truth?" Jones argued that an FBI investigation could clear Kavanaugh's name and "help" him. When asked if he believed the women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Jones said, "I don’t know enough information to say that. But they should be given the benefit of the doubt."
Jones's announcement that he thinks the FBI should investigate Kavanaugh may not matter much; as a member of the House of Representatives, Jones has no vote in whether or not Kavanaugh gets confirmed. More significant, however, is the fact that Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has expressed reservations about voting to confirm Kavanaugh due to a new accusation that has come out against him, according to CNN. It is widely believed that if Collins decides to vote against Kavanaugh, her Republican colleague Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would do likewise, which would defeat his confirmation if all of the Democrats also vote against him:
Sen. Susan Collins, who could determine whether Brett Kavanaugh gets a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, raised serious concerns at a private meeting about the newest allegations of inappropriate behavior against the nominee -- and questioned why the Senate Judiciary Committee had not subpoenaed a close friend of the federal judge.
Multiple sources familiar with the private Wednesday meeting told CNN that Collins appeared unnerved by the latest allegation, citing in particular that it was a sworn statement sent to the panel, which carries with it the possibility of perjury for lying to Congress.
"I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their 'turn' with a girl inside the room," Swetnick wrote. "These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh."
Part of her affidavit claimed that:
During the years 1981-1982, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to "spike" the "punch" at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say "No." This caused me to make an effort to purposely avoid the "punch" at these parties.