FBI investigation might not help Brett Kavanaugh accuser, Fran Townsend says

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her in high school, is calling for an FBI investigation into her claims ahead of a Judiciary Committee hearing set for Monday. But according to Fran Townsend, CBS News senior national security analyst and former homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush, the probe may not help Ford.

"I think that makes her look political," Townsend told "CBS This Morning" Thursday.

Ford has to decide by Friday morning if she'll testify before the Senate committee.

Townsend, who worked alongside Judge Kavanaugh during the Bush administration, is one of 84 women who signed a letter to the Judiciary Committee vouching for Kavanaugh and urging the Senate to "confirm him promptly."

Townsend said the FBI probe into the claims would take "a couple of days."

"This is not weeks or months," she said.

Townsend pointed to Anita Hill's testimony in 1991 for the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, where Hill alleged Thomas had engage in sexual misconduct.

What can Congress learn from the Anita Hill hearings?

"That's an example where President George H.W. Bush did reopen the investigation based on her allegations and look at how those 302s were used," she said, referring to the form the FBI would hand over the Judiciary Committee. "They were used – it was a brutal, brutal cross-examination of her in public. I'm not sure that's something – that's a model we really want to follow."

Ford's lawyer said Wednesday that Ford believes "a full non-partisan investigation of this matter is needed and she is willing to cooperate." But the lawyer said, "The committee's stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation."

Townsend acknowledged Ford's "courage" in speaking out, but in the end,  if it's a public hearing, she said "it's going to come down to credibility" with the Judiciary Committee and the Americans as judges.

"This is going to be about her telling her story. And to the extent she's telling it to anybody else, whether it's a Senate investigators or the FBI… she's her own best advocate here," Townsend said. "If she can get the opportunity to tell her story and get it out there, it's up to Kavanaugh to be able to refute that."