White House Imposes Tight Constraints on FBI Review

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) poses for photographs with Judge Brett Kavanaugh before a meeting at the U.S. Capitol July 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

According to a new report out form NBC News, the White House has imposed tight constraints on the FBI review of the accusations about Brett Kavanaugh.

There’s a lot in the article. But the two pertinent points seem to be these. The FBI will review the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez but not that of Julie Swetnick. Perhaps more important, the White House Counsel’s Office – i.e., close Kavanaugh associate Don McGahn – has given the FBI a list of permitted interviews. This list appears to prevent any follow up on a number of leads raised in Thursday’s hearing, such as conflicting accounts of Kavanaugh’s college drinking and the reference to Mark Judge’s high school employment which was referenced as a possible corroboration of Blasey Ford’s testimony.

As the NBC report notes this appears to be at odds with what Flake and his few Republican allies had in mind, specifically that how to investigate the questions at hand would be left to the FBI.

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