Democrats are very upset about the scope of the FBI investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying that White House constraints are making it a “farce.” At the same time they are demanding more information about what exactly is going on.
Everyone agrees the FBI has a tough job. They must try to satisfy a lot of different parties who seem to be at war with each other.
The investigation from the beginning was limited to ‘current credible allegations’ against the judge. But that term was not defined for them.
In doing their job the FBI is trying to please Donald Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn, and Republicans in the Senate. But that is easy compared to trying to make the Democrats happy.
Here are some unanswered questions:
- Is the FBI going to probe Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale or just high school?
- Is the investigation going to probe all allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick?
- Who decides what is credible? (Michael Avenatti has claimed that Trump and the Republicans are trying to tell the FBI in advance what is credible.)
- Will the FBI seek out additional witnesses based on interviews with Ramirez and others?
The investigation’s narrow scope has infuriated Democrats. They think he has lied during his testimony. They also think he should be subjected to a very wide-ranging examination of all of his drinking and possible sexual misconduct, as well as possible perjury charges.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that if there are limits on who the F.B.I. can interview, and which leads they can follow, this would be a “farce.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who also on the Judiciary Committee, said the White House was micromanaging the process: “You can’t interview this person, you can’t look at this time period, you can only look at these people from one side of the street from when they were growing up.”
“I mean, come on,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Perhaps the greatest frustration for Democrats is that they have been kept in the dark about the parameters of the FBI probe. There have been conflicting statements from the White House, from Capitol Hill, and from the media. So nobody seems to really know what is going on.
As Democrats sound alarms that the White House is improperly limiting the F.B.I.’s work, one key Congressman said that if the Democrats win control of the House in November, and if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, then they will fully investigate the claims against him.
“If he is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn’t investigated, the House will have to,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. ” “We would have to investigate any credible allegations, certainly of perjury and other things that haven’t been properly looked into before.”
It appears right now that Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are still trying to quickly force through the Kavanaugh nomination. They didn’t want full public hearings and they don’t want a full FBI investigation either.
Because they are in power they may get their way. But their power may be fleeting. When Democrats take back control they will seek their revenge on the “farce” of the Kavanaugh nomination process. And when they do, Judge Kavanaugh may wish that he had never been nominated for the Supreme Court by Donald Trump.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.