Late today, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the FBI has concluded its supplemental background investigation into allegations by several women that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted them after drinking heavily. McConnell filed cloture on the nomination today, meaning that the cloture vote could come on Friday. If the Senate approves cloture by a simple majority vote, a requisite thirty hours for debate would ensue, followed by a final vote by the full Senate over the weekend.
Reportedly, the plan is to have Senators review the supplemental FBI report in a closed, secured room, presumably unable to duplicate it by any means, such as taking photos of the report with their phone. But as we’ve seen with information shared by the nominee in supposedly private sessions with senators, then bruited about for the press cameras, information and disinformation about the report’s contents will fly around. Out of that toxic dust devil of rumor and innuendo will come calls to release the report, and suggestions that the FBI and the White House are hiding damning information. Ultimately, it would be better for the White House to direct the FBI to release the report, provided that innocent witnesses can be protected via redaction. That way, we’ll have, in the apocryphal phrase attributed to Dragnet’s Joe Friday, “just the facts, ma’am.”