Anyone celebrating the decision to have the FBI investigate the claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will now have to face the sobering fact revealed by NBC News today that President Trump has limited the investigation into just two of the multiple accusations against his favored court choice.
Multiple sources have told the network that only the assault allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who gave her sworn testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and by Deborah Ramirez, Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate who accuses the nominee of drunkenly shoving his penis into her face at a dorm party will be reviewed by FBI investigators.
In what appears to be a direct reprisal towards attorney Michael Avenatti—the lawyer who also represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film star whose struggle to be free of a non-disclosure agreement about her affair with Trump resulted in a guilty plea for campaign finance violations from Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen that also implicated the president—the FBI will not be looking into his client Julie Swetnick’s accusations against Kavanaugh.
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Swetnick alleges that while attending Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh was part of a group of students who routinely attended alcohol and drug laden parties and took physical advantage of incapacitated under-aged girls in ways that could only be described as gang rape.
According to NBC News:
“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 news of the limits on the investigation directly contradict the characterization of the investigation that President Trump gave on Saturday when he said that the FBI would have “free reign” in their investigation.
“They’re going to do whatever they have to do,” he said. “Whatever it is they do, they’ll be doing — things that we never even thought of. And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”
Trump’s limitation on which witnesses the bureau can contact and which claims they can investigate seems to be designed to ensure the outcome that he desires.
An unnamed White House official told NBC News that the Oval Office was not “micromanaging” the FBI’s inquiries but “did not specifically dispute limitations on the scope” of the probe.
Yet, NBC’s account of what the limitations will entail are far broader than a fair investigation calls for. While the FBI will be able to interview Mark Judge, who Dr. Ford claims was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her, it won’t be able to request employment records from the supermarket that employed Judge that could help determine the time frame of the alleged incident.
NBC News also says that: “Two sources familiar with the investigation said the FBI will also not be able to examine why Kavanaugh’s account of his drinking at Yale University differs from those of some former classmates, who have said he was known as a heavy drinker.” In other words, the FBI will conduct no investigation into whether Kavanaugh’s depiction of himself under sworn testimony bears any relation to the truth.
With Trump already calling the FBI probe “a blessing in disguise”—presumably because an incomplete White House-controlled investigation will provide cover for installing his preferred judge on the Supreme court without a cloud of ignominy hanging over his head—anyone with an interest in true justice and in a Supreme Court free of partisan hackery should be calling out the con job already in the works.
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