Wednesday, October 03, 2018


The Kavanaugh investigation is full of holes:
The [FBI] is expected to wrap up its expanded background investigation as early as Wednesday into two allegations against [Brett] Kavanaugh — one from Christine Blasey Ford and the other from Deborah Ramirez.

But sources close to the investigation, as well as a number of people who know those involved, say the FBI has not contacted dozens of potential corroborators or character witnesses.

More than 20 individuals who know either Kavanaugh or Ramirez, who has accused the nominee of exposing himself to her while the two attended Yale University, have not heard from the FBI despite attempts to contact investigators, including Kavanaugh’s roommate at the time and a former close Ramirez friend.
Let's review.

First we were told on Saturday that the investigation was under serious constraints.
The White House is limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, multiple people briefed on the matter told NBC News.

... as of now, the FBI cannot ask the supermarket that employed [Mark] Judge for records verifying when he was employed there, one of the sources was told.

... Two sources familiar with the investigation said the FBI will also not be able to examine why Kavanaugh’s account of his drinking at Yale University differs from those of some former classmates, who have said he was known as a heavy drinker.
Then on Monday we were assured that restraints had been removed:
The White House authorized the F.B.I. to expand its abbreviated investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh by interviewing anyone it deems necessary as long as the review is finished by the end of the week, according to two people briefed on the matter.

At an event on Monday celebrating a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, President Trump said he instructed his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, over the weekend to instruct the F.B.I. to carry out an open investigation....
Where have we seen this pattern before?

Think back to the days when we realized that the Trump administration was separating migrant families at the border. There was widespread outrage. The administration announced concessions.

And then what? As Human Rights Watch notes today:
The Trump Administration responded by reversing its policy of forcibly separating immigrant families at the border—but what it substituted has been no better: it merely changed the way children are harmed.

These more recent measures include moving to permit indefinite family detention, creating procedures that have led to a sharp increase in the detention of unaccompanied children, and reversing established rules for asylum under US law....

More than 100 children remain separated from their parents despite court orders for their reunification.
For the Trump administration, family separation and the sham FBI investigation weren't real problems -- they were perception problems. The solution was to change the perception of injustice. The Trumpers don't like to respond to popular anger, and when they do, the point of the response is to mollify the complainants, not to fix what's broken.

On family separation, it worked -- most of America has moved on. We'll see if it works in this case as well.

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