Donald Trump is placing limits on the FBI investigation that will prevent them looking into, among other things, Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking or the accusations made in an affidavit by Julie Swetnick. The limits set could make it impossible to ascertain even the most basic facts, turning the FBI investigation from cursory … into a complete sham.
As NBC News reports, even though the agreement in the Senate was that the allegations to be investigated would be limited to those already brought forward — with Swetnick’s name explicitly mentioned — her statements about parties she attended and the behavior of Kavanaugh and others are now off the table. In fact, most of the facts related to even Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations will be impossible to pursue under the limits set by Trump. Those limits include a fixed list of people the FBI is allowed to talk to. And, unbelievably in a case that hinges on Kavanaugh’s behavior when drunk, the FBI will not be allowed to ask about his drinking.
Instead of investigating Swetnick’s claims, the White House counsel’s office has given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview, according to several people who discussed the parameters on the condition of anonymity. They characterized the White House instructions as a significant constraint on the FBI investigation and caution that such a limited scope, while not unusual in normal circumstances, may make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.
The limitations could make it impossible to even determine whether or when Mark Judge worked at a local grocery chain, a critical point in setting a date for the events described by Ford. It would also prevent the FBI from following up on any leads discovered.
NBC describes the limitations as “at odds with what some members of the Senate judiciary seemed to expect” when they agreed to vote Kavanaugh out of committee with the understanding that this investigation would take place. Now the question is whether Jeff Flake — along with Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski — wanted an investigation, or cover.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.