FBI completes interview of Kavanaugh's high school friend

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI has finished interviewing a friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who was said to have attended a high school gathering in the early 1980s where a woman says she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, the man's lawyer said Tuesday.

Mark Judge, who has denied any wrongdoing, completed his interview with FBI agents as part of the reopened background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, said his lawyer, Barbara "Biz" Van Gelder.

She declined to say exactly when it ended or what Judge was asked. She had said Monday night that the interview was not completed.

Democrats, meanwhile, were raising new questions about the truthfulness of Kavanaugh's sworn testimony to the Senate, shifting tactics against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee as they await the results of the FBI's background investigation.

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Family members of of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including his wife Ashley (R) and mother Martha (L), listen to him testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Supreme Court nominee�Brett Kavanaugh�angrily, tearfully and 'unequivocally' denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, after she told senators at a dramatic hearing that shes 'one hundred percent' certain he is the one who attacked her when they were teenagers. Photographer: Tom Williams/Pool via Bloomberg
White House Counsel and Assistant to the President for U.S. President Donald Trump, Donald McGahn, as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. SAUL LOEB/Pool via REUTERS
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, U.S. September 27, 2018. Gabriella Demczuk/Pool via Reuters
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking members Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (R) and Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) question Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS
Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, left, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Supreme Court nominee�Brett Kavanaugh�angrily, tearfully and 'unequivocally' denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, after she told senators at a dramatic hearing that shes 'one hundred percent' certain he is the one who attacked her when they were teenagers. Photographer: Win McNamee/Pool via Bloomberg
Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives with his wife Ashley to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) presides over a hearing as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, leaves for a break from the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of a sexual assault in 1982, in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NB) speaks during U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, smiles during Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, on September 27, 2018. - University professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, told a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that could make or break Kavanaugh's nomination she was '100 percent' certain he was the assailant and it was 'absolutely not' a case of mistaken identify. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW HARNIK/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C. - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) displays a judiciary committee document while questioning Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., on September 27, 2018. - University professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, told a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that could make or break Kavanaugh's nomination she was '100 percent' certain he was the assailant and it was 'absolutely not' a case of mistaken identify. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW HARNIK/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Senate Judiciary Committee members (L-R) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) talk at the conclusion of the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C. - SEPTEMBER 27: Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was called back to testify about claims by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images)
Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, wife of Supreme Court nominee�Brett Kavanaugh, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Kavanaugh�angrily, tearfully and 'unequivocally' denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, after she told senators at a dramatic hearing that she's 'one hundred percent' certain he is the one who attacked her when they were teenagers. Photographer: Jim Bourg/Pool via Bloomberg
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Supreme Court nominee�Brett Kavanaugh�angrily, tearfully and 'unequivocally' denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, after she told senators at a dramatic hearing that shes 'one hundred percent' certain he is the one who attacked her when they were teenagers. Photographer: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) listens to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., on September 27, 2018. - University professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, told a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that could make or break Kavanaugh's nomination she was '100 percent' certain he was the assailant and it was 'absolutely not' a case of mistaken identify. (Photo by JIM BOURG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM BOURG/AFP/Getty Images)
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Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democrats' leader from New York, accused Kavanaugh of delivering a "partisan screed" during the Judiciary Committee hearing last week. He said Kavanaugh seemed willing to "mislead senators about everything from the momentous to the mundane" to ensure his ascension to the high court.

"The harsh fact of the matter is that we have mounting evidence that Judge Kavanaugh is just not credible," Schumer said Monday.

Not so, argued Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, contending the Democrats are simply looking to "move the goalposts" to prevent Kavanaugh's confirmation. He pledged that the full Senate would begin voting on Kavanaugh's nomination this week.

"The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close," he said.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hinges on a handful of key Republican and Democratic senators who have not yet fully tipped their votes. One of them is Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was greeted by hundreds of liberal protesters, victims of sexual assault among them, during an appearance Monday in Boston.

Flake and Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were instrumental last week in holding up Kavanaugh's confirmation vote. They forced the White House to open a supplemental background investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against the judge.

The votes of the three Republicans and those of red-state Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota will largely determine whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.

Flake said he would ensure it's a "real investigation," by the FBI as Democrats demanded that Trump give them a full readout of his instructions to the agency.

"It does us no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover," Flake said.

Heitkamp, meanwhile, noted that Trump himself called for a "broader" FBI investigation into the allegations. She said, "I'm waiting to see what the results are."

Kavanaugh has emphatically denied Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a gathering when they were teens. He has also denied an accusation from Deborah Ramirez, a classmate at Yale, who said he exposed himself to her at a dorm party more than 25 years ago. A third claim — from Julia Swetnick, who is represented by attorney Michael Avenatti — accuses Kavanaugh of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women at parties in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh denies that as well.

Democrats have seized most recently on Kavanaugh's indignant, emotional testimony before the Judiciary Committee to question whether he has the temperament for a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court.

In particular, Democrats have homed in on his contention that the allegations against him are an "orchestrated political hit" funded by left-wing groups seeking "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."

Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, said, "We're going to put a conspiracy theory believer on the court?"

Democrats are also questioning Kavanaugh's honesty, particularly over statements he made about his drinking in high school and college.

Kavanaugh testified that while he enjoys drinking beer, and often did so in high school, he never drank to excess. He lashed out at senators who asked if he had ever blacked out. In one notable exchange, he snapped at Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., "Have you?"

Schumer said Kavanaugh was "rudely interrupting" senators in a way he'd never seen from a witness.

Former classmates have stepped forward to challenge Kavanaugh's testimony about his drinking. Charles "Chad" Ludington, who said he was a friend of Kavanaugh's at Yale University and now teaches at North Carolina State University, called Kavanaugh "a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker." But the White House released statements from two other Yale classmates Monday who said they never saw Kavanaugh black out or treat women with disrespect.

Pushing back on the Democratic attacks, Republicans said Kavanaugh had every right to be upset during the hearing.

McConnell mocked the questions from Democrats about Kavanaugh's drinking in high school and college. He said Kavanaugh was "rightfully angry" about the accusations, and he added, "Who wouldn't be?"

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, said Kavanaugh has only been responding to Democratic attacks.

"He's on trial for his life, so is his spouse, so are his parents, so are his kids, and he got mad. Now they are criticizing him for getting mad. I think that's the height of hypocrisy."

The FBI is expected to spend the coming days investigating the sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh. Senators have said they want the investigation completed by Friday.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said after speaking with White House counsel Don McGahn over the weekend he remained "very concerned" the FBI's probe would be too narrow.

Responding to those concerns, Trump said at a press conference he wants the FBI to do a "comprehensive" investigation and "it wouldn't bother me at all" if agents pursued accusations made by the three women. But he also said Senate Republicans are determining the parameters of the investigation and "ultimately, they're making the judgment."

"My White House will do whatever the senators want," Trump said. "The one thing I want is speed."

Still, Trump slammed Senate Democrats during a campaign rally in Tennessee Monday night. "If we took 10 years, they'd want more time," he groused.

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Michael Balsamo and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.

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For more coverage of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, visit https://apnews.com/tag/Kavanaughnomination

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