CBC News / YouTube Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford...
CBC News / YouTube

It’s coming Thursday and nothing about the next 24 hours-plus is going to be pretty. Senate Republicans are already putting severe restrictions on how Democrats will be allowed to view the FBI’s new background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh:

  • There’s only one copy
  • Senators can only review it one at a time
  • Each senator gets one hour

“Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told The Hill, calling it “bizarre.”

If all 100 senators decide to review the document and it takes each senator 30 minutes to peruse the document, it could take 50 hours for the entire chamber to examine it.

“Do the math,” said Durbin. “That’s a lot of time.”

Bizarre is correct. Democrats had requested that the FBI brief Senators on the findings all together, but GOP Leader Mitch McConnell flatly rejected that idea, calling it “unprecedented.” Isn’t that cute—McConnell’s suddenly concerned with precedent.

In the meantime, FBI officials are expressing concerns that their findings will be presented as exhaustive when, in fact, their hands were largely tied as to which leads they were allowed to track down. NBC reports that “dozens of witnesses” have showed up at FBI field offices offering information on Brett Kavanaugh, but “agents have not been permitted to talk to many of them.” And even among the people who were interviewed, it remains unclear to the FBI which interviews will be included in the limited report.

Internally, the bureau is concerned that the constraints of the investigation could damage its reputation for finding the truth, the officials said.

Seems like a fair concern given that agents weren’t even allowed to interview the woman whose claims set the entire investigation into motion, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Seriously, who’s ever heard of a sexual assault investigation where you don’t interview the victim? That’s not a thing.

CNN also posted a piece Wednesday evening detailing a number of Kanavaugh’s former Yale classmates who have tried to share information with the FBI, but been rejected. Read it, if you’re prepared to be infuriated with the lack of follow up on witnesses who clearly have relevant information about Kavanaugh’s drinking habits, the sexual misconduct allegation made by Deborah Ramirez, and Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt at witness tampering before the New Yorker article was published.

Buckle up, folks. We got our first look at what’s to come Wednesday afternoon when Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee tweeted confidential information about Kavanaugh’s six former background checks, claiming they were squeaky clean. Democrats followed by saying, hey, you’re not supposed to be talking about that but as long you are, you’re lying.

Also, keep in mind that the FBI has kept its client—the White House—up to speed on its findings throughout this entire process. That’s the way it works, according to former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi. He explained on MSNBC that as the FBI completes the interviews, it reports back to the White House about the information that’s turning up. So Republican leaders already have a very good idea of what’s going to be in that report, while Democrats have been kept completely in the dark.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. If, as expected, Kavanaugh is confirmed come hell or high water, can a proper investigation be made once the Democrats have the House?


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