Trump says the FBI has 'free reign'' in Kavanaugh investigation; media claims otherwise
Numerous media outlets are reporting this morning that the Trump administration is limiting the scope of the FBI investigation into alleged sexual misconduct charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
But the president tweeted last night that he has given the FBI "free reign" to investigate.
While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau had 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, those people familiar with the investigation told NBC News.
A White House official had confirmed earlier Saturday that Swetnick's claims would not be pursued as part of the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh. Trump described that as incorrect in a tweet late Saturday. The Wall Street Journal had also reported that Swetnick's allegations would not be investigated.
Trump said the FBI had "free rein" in the 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."
Should the FBI waste its time investigating allegations from a woman, Julie Swetnick, being represented by porn lawyer and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Avenatti and who was sued by her employer for. among other things, making a claim of sexual harassment against two co-workers that she later withdrew? According to the 2000 suit from her employer WebTrends, Swetnick herself was accused of "unwelcome, sexually offensive conduct."
In the 2500 word NBCNews story quoted above, there was not a word about these facts on the record. To pretend that Swetnick is a credible accuser takes the concept of #MeToo to ridiculous and appalling extremes.
NBC points out that limiting the scope of any FBI investigation is standard procedure:
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.
When you have women crawling out of the woodwork accusing Kavanaugh of all sorts of sexual misconduct, it's simple common sense to limit the number of witnesses. Besides, just because the FBI won't interview Swetnick directly doesn't mean they won't investigate her claim:
An administration official familiar with the process clarified, after the publication of this story, that while investigators may not be interviewing Swetnick herself, that doesn't preclude them from asking other witness about the allegations she has made.
Trump may have, indeed, given the FBI "free reign" to investigate credible accusations against Kavanaugh. But Democrats want a fishing expedition - a witch hunt, demanding that everyone with something negative to say about Kavanaugh be believed.
If the Democrats succeed in derailing the Kavanaugh nomination and leave a vacancy on the court until a Democrat is elected president, they are not going to believe the avalanche of accusations by the GOP against whoever is nominated. They have sowed the wind. They will reap the whirlwind.