The FBI has been hamstrung by the White House from completing a real investigation into Dr. Blasey Ford’s accusations about Donald Trump’s Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, the president limited the agency to interviewing 10 individuals. Democrats are outraged.
Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave brief statements after they viewed the 46-page FBI report.
In her brief comments, Feinstein called the FBI investigation “incomplete,” according to a live YouTube statement. She indicated that she thought Trump’s administration might have “limited” the FBI’s special inquiry into Kavanaugh’s background.
The FBI did not interview Kavanaugh or his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Feinstein noted. She felt it was unfair that the committee’s hearing “should not be a substitute” for an FBI interview.
Feinstein further indicated that senators on the Judiciary Committee “lack the expertise” which FBI agents have. She also noted that the senators were given only five-minute blocks in which to question the nominee. The senator continued:
‘(The White House) blocked access to millions of documents from Kavanaugh’s record, Feinstein charged, as well as 90 percent of his emails. While Democrats agreed that the investigation should be somewhat limited, they did not say that the White House “should tie the FBI’s hands.’
Democratic senators poured into a secure room to view the FBI’s final report. Trump forbade the agency from interviewing Kavanaugh’s college roommate, 40-plus people who have tried to bring information forward to the FBI, and individuals who provided sworn declarations. They could not even interview the judge or Dr. Ford.
The FBI’s special inquiry focused on Dr. Ford’s allegations and those of the second woman who came forward. Deborah Ramirez also accused Kavanaugh of sexually molesting her in college. She said that he forced his genitals in her face.
‘We had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting the facts. … Those fears have been realized…I disagree … with Sen. Grassley’s statement that there was no hint of misconduct.’
The president claimed expansively that the FBI was free to interview Kavanaugh and basically anyone they deemed necessary. That was far from the truth, though.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed from the Senate floor that he would hold the initial vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination on the same day that the Republicans released the FBI special inquiry report. He wanted the final vote on the following day.
In addition to rushing the entire Kavanaugh hearing through its hoops, the Republicans found another way to limit how the hearing progressed.
There was only one document available for the 100 senators to view. Judicial Committee chair, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) viewed it during the first hour and claimed that the FBI had “found no hint of misconduct.” Feinstein was scheduled for the second hour. Then, Republican senators had an hour to look at the report followed by the Democrats’ hour.
That was ironic given that McConnell refused to even allow President Barack Obama’s SCOTUS nominee senator interviews nearly a year before the 2016 presidential elections.
Neither Feinstein nor Schumer took questions following their statements.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.