The White House is severely limiting the renewed FBI background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to multiple reports, some even indicating the probe, which began Friday, could be wrapped up as soon as Monday.
Those weekend reports were backed up Monday by Frank Figliuzzi, who served as the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence from 1987 to 2012, who told MSNBC that sources inside the bureau say the White House is keeping a tight check on the investigation.
“The thing that’s really bothering me is the incredible constraints that are being put on the FBI by the White House,” Figliuzzi said. “I am sitting here this morning telling you they are severely limited, and I know they are.”
The FBI was reportedly given a list of just four people to interview, including Deborah Ramirez, who last week came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of shoving his penis in her face during a drunken dorm party while they were classmates at Yale. She was interviewed Sunday according to CNN.
Not on the FBI’s list, however, is Chad Ludington, a professor from North Carolina who became the latest Yale classmate of Kavanaugh to challenge the nominee’s claims made about his drinking.
Ludington said that during his time at Yale, he frequently saw Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption,” often becoming “belligerent and aggressive” while intoxicated and even recalled Kavanaugh throwing a beer in someone’s face, “starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”
Ludington told the Washington Post he planned to tell his story to the FBI at its office in Raleigh Monday.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) said placing limits on whom the FBI can and cannot interview would be a “farce,” and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has called for the White House to release the scope of the investigation.
Donald Trump challenged these assertions Saturday, claiming the FBI had “free rein” to do whatever it wants.
“The FBI as you know is all over, talking to everybody,” Trump told reporters. “They have been all over it already. They have free rein to do whatever they have to do.”
He followed up with a tweet Sunday, hitting out at Democrats’ criticism.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor hired by the Republicans to cross-examine Kavanaugh and Ford during last week’s hearings concluded that Ford’s testimony would not stand up in court.
In a five-page memo sent to Senate Republicans Sunday, and obtained by the Washington Post, Rachel Mitchell listed several reasons why “I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence.”
The memo will likely be used by the GOP as a way to push the remaining senators sitting on the fence to vote in favor of advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that,” Mitchell said. “Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.”
Cover image: Donald Trump speaks while meeting with President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastian Pinera in the Oval Office of the White House on September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images)