The White House has authorised the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interview anyone it wants to by during its inquiry of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, The New York Times reported on Monday.

President Donald Trump said he wanted the FBI to conduct a “very comprehensive investigation” into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, but not a “witch hunt”, reported BBC. Trump said he had requested that the FBI be given free rein, but said, “I’d like it to go quickly.”

Trump said Senate Republicans are determining the parameters of the investigation and “ultimately, they’re making the judgement”, reported AP. “My White House will do whatever the senators want,” Trump was quoted as saying. “The one thing I want is speed.”

The White House directive came after Democrats criticised the Trump administration for limiting the scope of the bureau’s investigation.

Senator Susan Collins, one of three Republican senators instrumental in Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, said she is “confident that the FBI is doing a thorough investigation and that it will be helpful to us as we make our decisions”.

The FBI has questioned four people so far about the accusations of misconduct against Kavanaugh. These include the men that California college professor Christine Blasey Ford said were present at a party in the early 1980s, when the alleged sexual abuse took place. Ford testified against him last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The FBI is also expected to interview Kavanaugh and the other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. The judge has so far denied all the allegations.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that Kavanaugh was involved in an altercation at a local bar in 1985 when he was an undergraduate student at Yale. A police report after the incident showed that five men, including Kavanaugh, were question by police after a 21-year-old man accused him of throwing ice on him for “some unknown reason”. He was not arrested.