Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

Updated at 6:50 p.m.

An attorney for Mark Judge, a former classmate and high school friend of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said Friday that Judge was willing to cooperate with a law enforcement investigation focused on allegations of sexual misconduct.

“If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr. Judge’s cooperation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him,” Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder, Washington-based senior counsel at Cozen O’Connor, said Friday.

The development came shortly after Republican senators called on the FBI to reopen a limited background check into Kavanaugh, in the wake of a dramatic hearing in which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford detailed the allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh decades ago when they were high school students in suburban Washington. The decision hits the pause button on consideration of the nomination by the full Senate.

On Friday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the committee will request that the Trump administration “instruct the FBI to conduct a supplemental FBI background investigation with respect to” Kavanaugh’s nomination.

President Donald Trump, in a statement relayed by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, said, “I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

The supplementary investigation hits the pause button on consideration of the nomination of Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Kavanaugh, responding to the decision to open the supplemental FBI probe, said in a statement:

“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.”

Senate Democrats have called on the FBI to reopen the inquiry, in part to obtain the testimony of Judge. Ford testified to senators on Thursday that Judge was the only other person present in the room during Kavanaugh’s alleged assault of Ford.

On Thursday, Kavanaugh described Judge as “a friend at Georgetown Prep, starting in ninth grade.” He noted, “I haven’t talked to him in a couple years.”

Judge, in a Sept. 18 statement his lawyer sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had “no memory of the alleged incident.”

On Friday, an attorney for Patrick “PJ” Smyth, another Kavanaugh high school classmate, said he would cooperate with the FBI. Ford says that Smyth attended the social gathering where the alleged incident occurred.

“My client, Patrick J. Smyth, is happy to cooperate fully with this FBI investigation,” Eric Bruce of Kobre & Kim said in a statement.

This week, Washington, D.C., resident Julie Swetnick came forth with a separate allegation in an affidavit, accusing Judge and Kavanaugh of being present during an incident where she says she was gang-raped.

Judge flatly denied the allegations by Swetnick, in a letter Friday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, obtained by The National Law Journal.

“The allegations in the Swetnick affidavit are so bizarre that, even while suffering from my addiction, I would remember actions so outlandish. I categorically deny them,” he said, submitting the letter under penalty of perjury.

 

Read more:

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