The FBI has reached out to the second woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault as part of its new investigation into the Supreme Court nominee, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the investigation.
It was not immediately clear whether the FBI had yet interviewed Deborah Ramirez, who alleged in a report published Sept. 23 by The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken dormitory party. She said he shoved his penis in her face, forcing her to touch it while pushing him away.
Ramirez said the the assault occurred during the 1983-84 school year at Yale University, where they both were students.
The Post said the FBI was also following up on accusations by Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused Kavanaugh. Her story dated to 1982, when they were both teenagers. She said he sexually assaulted her at a gathering at a home in suburban Washington. Kavanaugh has angrily denied the allegation.
Both told their stories to the Senate Judiciary Committee separately Thursday in lengthy hearings.
President Donald Trump ordered the additional FBI investigation Friday at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Trump posted on Twitter Friday night:
Trump said in a statement that the additional investigation "must be limited in scope'' and "completed in less than one week.''
The decision was a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh already was vetted.
WATCH: Kavanaugh Moves Step Closer to Confirmation, But With a Hitch
Earlier Friday, the Judiciary Committee voted to send Kavanaugh's nomination for the Supreme Court to the full Senate after securing a party-line vote in favor of the nod, but Arizona Republican Jeff Flake requested a delay in the floor vote and the additional investigation.
"This country is being ripped apart here, and we've got to make sure that we do due diligence," Flake said.
Another Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said Friday that she agreed with Flake's call for additional FBI investigation.
Republicans hold a slim 51-49 margin in the Senate. Kavanaugh needs at least 50 votes to have his nomination confirmed. Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote if the Senate was evenly split. If all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh, two Republicans would have to do the same to block his confirmation.
Kavanaugh said in a statement released by the White House that he would continue to cooperate with the FBI and the Senate.
"Throughout this process, I've been interviewed by the FBI, I've done a number of 'background' calls directly with the Senate, and yesterday, I answered questions under oath about every topic the senators and their counsel asked me. I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate," he said.
In another development Friday, a high school friend of Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, said he was willing to cooperate with any FBI investigation. Judge is likely to figure prominently in any inquiry by the FBI, because Ford contends he was present when Kavanaugh assaulted her at the suburban Washington party. Judge has denied being at any party with Ford when an attack took place.
Source: VOA news