News reports from this morning indicate that Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now very likely because the whitewashed FBI report is giving cover to swing Republican Senators. This despite the failure of FBI investigators to interview neither Christine Blasey Ford nor Kavanaugh and nor at least 40 other witnesses who could give corroboration to Ford’s sexual assault allegations.
The newly-released 46 page FBI report is being called “incomplete” by Democrats and the White House is being blamed for restricting the scope and breadth of investigators. Reportedly, 10 people were contacted and only 9 interviewed by agents. That’s 9 people in the 5 day period (less than 2 a day – wow!). Also, the third woman to come forward, Julie Swetnick, was not contacted by the FBI. Also the second accuser Debra Ramirez gave agents a list of 20 people who come corroborate her accusations against Kavanaugh. None – again, none of them were contacted.
The report is also being called “a sham”, “a whitewash” by critics. Yet, this morning swing GOP senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake stated it was enough for them. Which means it’s very likely they’ll vote to confirm.
This means the vote on Saturday by the full Senate will likely – barring a tsunami hitting Washington DC – vote to confirm Kavanaugh. A procedural vote will come as soon as Friday.
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer held a press conference this morning once Democrats were allowed to view the report.
“The most notable part of the report is what’s not in it. There were many witnesses not interviewed. It looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation.”
She said the White House blocked the FBI from doing its job; that Democratic Senators did not agree that the White House would tie the FBI’s hands in its investigation. She added last week’s hearing “was no substitute for a full investigation.”
The fact the FBI did not even interview Ford – the chief accuser – and then did not go back and interview Kavanaugh stands in deep contrast to what the Democrats and GOP senators appeared to agree to one week ago. Feinstein concluded:
“The investigation was very limited.”
Senator Schumer made 3 points. “We had fears this was a limited process, and after the release of the report, these fears have been realized.” Secondly, Schumer disagreed with an earlier statement by Sen. Chuck Grassley – head Republican on the Judiciary Committee – that earlier FBI reports had no “whiff” or hint of misconduct by Kavanaugh.
Thirdly, he made a call that the documents from the report with some redactions should be made public. Also, he called for the release of the White House directive sent to the FBI that set the restrictions and limitations on their investigation.
He criticized the process where only one document of the report was being made available to 100 senators.
A 5-day process where the Bureau failed to contact over 3 dozen people who were trying to get a hold of the FBI is outrageous. Ford not interviewed? Preposterous! Kavanaugh left alone? He did not answer hardly any substantive questions by Dems one week ago. And now he had no further interview? This is totally a blatantly white-washed report – and it’s now allowing those GOP senators sitting on the fence to jump off and vote for Kavanaugh. There are at least two Democratic Senators who were also on the fence – but it’s unclear where they now stand.
It now appears that while Trump was making public statements that he would allow the FBI to interview “anybody they wanted to” – promising some level of transparency – he was at the same time, severely limiting the number of witnesses they could track down and talk to.
There are some reports that individual FBI agents are “seething” they couldn’t do their job.
Originally posted at the OB Rag