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What are the responses to the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh? Show more Show less

Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh, has been accused of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The incident allegedly took place at a party when Kavanaugh was 17-years-old.
Ford's claims are credible. There must be an investigation before the nomination process can proceed.
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We need the FBI to investigate

Given the severity of the claims, the FBI should be allowed to investigate

(1 of 2 Arguments) Next >>

Context

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claims are credible. There is evidence that she mentioned the incident to a therapist in 2012. These claims were not cooked up in recent weeks to destroy Kavanaugh’s nomination.

The Argument

Given the severity of the claims and the fact that a Supreme Court judge is a lifetime appointment, there is much at stake. It would only be right to conduct a full and thorough FBI investigation of the incident before any vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination can take place. Besides, Kavanaugh has maintained that he was not at the unspecified party with Ford. This is something that can be very quickly investigated. The FBI can find witnesses that either place him at the party in question or confirm that he was not in attendance. Any deadlines Mitch McConnell or Charles Grassley have agreed on are self-imposed. There is no reason to rush proceedings. Kennedy left the Supreme Court just two months ago. Antonin Scalia’s seat sat vacant for more than a year before he was replaced. The FBI investigation will not take long and if Kavanaugh is innocent, like he claims, then it is in his best interests to conduct a full investigation to clear his name.[1] Although the incident does not fall under the FBI’s authority, and the statute of limitations has legally expired, the White House has the authority to order a full FBI investigation. As Kavanaugh is Trump’s nomination, only the Trump administration can task the FBI with investigating the validity of the claims. The Senate cannot.[2]

Counter arguments

The FBI has already completed its background check on Brett Kavanaugh. To open an FBI investigation would be too time-consuming and overrun the deadline set for Kavanaugh’s appointment. Also, the allegations do not fall under the FBI’s remit. The FBI investigates federal crimes. An attempted rape would fall under a violation of state crimes. The FBI has no authority to investigate the claims. The statute of limitations in Maryland also does not cover this misdemeanour from 34 years ago.[3]

Premises

Ford’s claims are credible. Therefore, the FBI needs to reopen its background check and verify the claims before the Judiciary Hearing can vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Rejecting the premises

The FBI cannot investigate state crimes. It would be up to the Maryland state police to investigate, which they cannot do because the statute of limitations has expired.

References

  1. https://qconline.com/opinion/columnists/ford-s-claims-demand-an-fbi-investigation/article_535c6f0d-7163-5a82-8351-29dfb9b27626.html
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/can-fbi-investigate-allegation-against-brett-kavanaugh-n911036
  3. https://www.apnews.com/f88f394af6734f4ea5d5c91eaa787775

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 27 Sep 2018 at 21:31 UTC