Amy Klobuchar says Kavanaugh's history of "excessive drinking" relevant to FBI investigation

Sen. Klobuchar on Kavanaugh's "excessive drinking"

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Judge Brett Kavanaugh's alleged "excessive drinking" in high school and college is relevant to the FBI's investigation into Kavanaugh's background and allegations of sexual assault against him.

"I think that is relevant, because when I was asking him about whether or not he had blacked out, or maybe partially blacked out in the past because of excessive drinking, he just turned it back on me instead of really answering that question," Klobuchar said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "And the reason it's relevant is perhaps he doesn't remember what happened because there were repeated incidences of this excessive drinking."  

During Thursday's dramatic hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of the most contentious moments came when Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh whether he ever drank to the point that he "couldn't remember what happened or part of what happened the night before." 

Kavanaugh flipped the question back on Klobucher, replying: "You're talking about blackout. I don't know. Have you?" Later in the hearing, Kavanaugh apologized for his remarks.

Kavanaugh testified that he sometimes drank more beers than he should in his high school days, but never drank to the point of blacking out or sexually assaulting anyone. 

Klobuchar said no one should be "micromanaging" the FBI as it conducts an investigation into Kavanaugh. 

"I think it's really important that the FBI get to the bottom of the evidence here, because what happened in that hearing was that a number of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said that they respected Dr. Ford, that they thought she had dignity, that they found her testimony compelling," Klobuchar said. "Well, you don't respect her if you don't try to figure out what actually happened."

She added, "As long as it is conducted in a professional manner and we give the FBI the ability to do their jobs instead of having it be micromanaged by the White House, we can at least get to the bottom of the evidence." President Trump denied placing restrictions on the FBI probe in a tweet Saturday night.

Klobuchar also acknowledged that there "may have been better ways to handle" Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh, which Ford shared with her congresswoman and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in July. Republicans have accused Democrats of waiting until the last minute in the confirmation process to act on the allegations.

"The justice system is messy, John. Things come in at the last minute all the time, before trial at the last minute. The question is not what happened in the past. We can examine that later. There may have been better ways to handle this," Klobuchar said. "The question is, when you have power, what do you do with that information? Do you just sweep it under the rug and say, 'Well, what happened in a house doesn't belong in the courthouse'? No. You look at it. You don't sweep it under the rug."

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    Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital