Donald Trump on Saturday denied having put strict limits on the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, saying the investigation was “at their discretion”—but, control your surprise, he appears to have been lying. So were Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, both of whom also claimed the White House had given the FBI free rein to investigate while opposing a “fishing expedition.”
But a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations, confirmed Sunday that Swetnick is not expected to be interviewed and said interviews pertaining to the other allegations will be limited to Kavanaugh, the first two accusers and people who have been identified as present for the incidents.
That means they haven’t interviewed Elizabeth Rasor, Mark Judge’s ex-girlfriend who says he told her in college about an incident where he and other young men took turns having sex with a drunk woman. They haven’t interviewed the Yale classmate who remembers hearing about an incident matching the description of Deborah Ramirez’s allegation that Kavanaugh drunkenly exposed himself to her. In fact, they haven’t even interviewed Christine Blasey Ford yet. Another of Kavanaugh’s college friends, though, didn’t wait to be asked: he went public with a statement saying Kavanaugh was absolutely lying about both his drinking habits and his behavior while drunk, writing that:
On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.
Judicial temperament, indeed. For more evidence that Kavanaugh is lying, the FBI could also look at his testimony from last Thursday, which Current Affairs editor Nathan Robinson showed was riddled with lies and evasions.
If Donald Trump unties the FBI’s hands—for real, not just by lying—former FBI director James Comey writes that the investigation could be fast and effective:
Yes, the alleged incident occurred 36 years ago. But F.B.I. agents know time has very little to do with memory. They know every married person remembers the weather on their wedding day, no matter how long ago. Significance drives memory. They also know that little lies point to bigger lies. They know that obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a yearbook are a flashing signal to dig deeper.
Once they start interviewing, every witness knows the consequences. It is one thing to have your lawyer submit a statement on your behalf. It is a very different thing to sit across from two F.B.I. special agents and answer their relentless questions. Of course, the bureau won’t have subpoena power, only the ability to knock on doors and ask questions. But most people will speak to them. Refusal to do so is its own kind of statement.
That is not what Republicans, from Donald Trump the Senate Judiciary Committee to Brett Kavanaugh himself, want. And with Kavanaugh planning to play offense, things could get especially ugly.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.