Just 24 hours after caving to pressure from the Senate and requesting an FBI probe into the sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump is reportedly already working to impose strict limitations on the scope of the investigation—a move that has been denounced as a flagrant attempt to further rig the process in Kavanaugh’s favor.
“The White House has a list of people the FBI can talk to. This investigation is already a sham.”
Citing multiple anonymous officials briefed on the matter, NBC News reported on Saturday that while “the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s.”
Michael Avenatti, the attorney of Stormy Daniels who is representing Swetnick, wrote on Twitter that if NBC‘s report is accurate, “this is outrageous.”
“Why are Trump and his cronies in the Senate trying to prevent the American people from learning the truth?” Avenatti asked. “Why do they insist on muzzling women with information submitted under penalty of perjury? Why Ramirez but not my client?”
According to NBC News, the White House counsel’s office has also “given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview,” a restriction that “may make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.”
Additionally, the FBI will not be permitted to “examine why Kavanaugh’s account of his drinking at Yale University differs from those of some former classmates” or ask the supermarket that employed Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge “for records verifying when he was employed there”—a line of inquiry that could help bolster Ford’s account.
“This is a farce, not an investigation,” MoveOn.org declared in a tweet reacting to NBC‘s reporting. “It insults the intelligence of the Senate and the country and is an act of profound disrespect toward Dr. Blasey Ford and all survivors of sexual violence. No self-respecting senator can pretend otherwise.”
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