Key figures who say they can corroborate parts of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Brett Kavanaugh are reportedly finding it difficult to get in touch with FBI officials, who are conducting a week-long investigation into the allegations that is "limited in scope."
Among them is Elizabeth Rasor, an ex-girlfriend of Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high school friend. Ford says Judge turned up the volume of the music that was playing during her alleged assault in order to drown out her protests and jumped on the bed on which Kavanaugh pinned her.
In a letter last week, Rasor, through her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, told the Senate Judiciary Committee and the FBI that she'd "welcome the opportunity" to share a memory she has of Judge once telling her about an incident where he and other boys took turns having sex with a drunk woman. But according to a new report from The New Yorker, Rasor has neither received personal correspondence from the FBI, nor has she been able to get in touch directly with any agents, even as the FBI launched an investigation into Ford's claims on Friday.
Others reported having similar issues reaching the FBI, like a Yale University alumnus who told New Yorker reporters Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer that he had been trying to set up an appointment with a bureau official so he could share information that could corroborate accuser Deborah Ramirez's account of Kavanaugh exposing his penis to her at a Yale dorm party. The alumnus said he recalls with 100 percent certainty having heard a story about the incident around the time Ramirez says it occurred. The alumnus said that, despite his best efforts, he so far has only managed to get in touch with a single FBI agent, who told him he had no idea what he was talking about and advised him to call an 800-number. He ended up leaving a message in the FBI's online portal.
Ford also finds herself among those who hasn't been contacted by the FBI, despite being the central focus of the bureau's investigation.
“We’ve tried repeatedly to speak with the FBI, but heard nothing back,” Debra Katz, Ford's lead attorney, told The New Yorker.
The FBI did, according to CNN, speak to Ramirez on Sunday, who provided agents with the names of alleged witnesses. It remains unclear whether FBI agents will reach out to these potential witnesses.
The apparent unevenness of the FBI's investigation so far appears to be the result of confusion over the breadth of the probe.
When Arizona Senator Jeff Flake initially called for the investigation into Ford's allegations on Friday, he asked that it be "limited in time and scope to the current allegations that are there," without defining the terms of his request.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump told reporters the White House had given the FBI "free rein to do whatever they have to do," and that agents were "all over, talking to everybody." Meanwhile, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told CNN the investigation was "limited in scope."
The official White House line is that the Senate is in charge of establishing the parameters of the investigation—not the office of the president. "The scope and duration has been set by the Senate," White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told The New Yorker in a statement. "The White House is letting the FBI agents do what they are trained to do."
But top Senate Democrats say they're still unclear on what the FBI investigation entails. California Senator and ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday night requesting a written copy of the White House's instructions to the FBI.
Those still hoping to talk to FBI agents about what they know about Kavanaugh, Judge, and the events surrounding allegations from both Ford and Ramirez say they feel ethically obligated to share what they know.
“She feels a sense of civic duty to tell what she knows,” Kaplan, Rasor's lawyer, told The New Yorker. “But the only response we’ve gotten are e-mails saying that our e-mails have been ‘received.’”