White House curbed probe of Kav, FBI boss concedes
The White House limited the FBI probe into the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh that nearly derailed his nomination to the Supreme Court, FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed Wednesday.
It has been widely speculated that the Trump administration put restrictions on who the bureau could interview and what allegations it could investigate, but the FBI director’s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee proved the first official confirmation to that effect.
“Our supplemental update to the previous background investigation was limited in scope,” Wray said in response to questions from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
The White House is the sole body that could have imposed such restrictions.
Wray declined to specify what restrictions were put on the bureau, only affirming the investigation was “specific” and “limited.”
He also maintained that the limitations were consistent with standard procedure.
“I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists, and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” Wray said, declining to elaborate.
The FBI reached out to 10 people and interviewed nine in the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh, according to the White House.
Democrats have fumed that the FBI was barred from interviewing crucial witnesses, including Kavanaugh himself and his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Wray declined to answer as Harris grilled him on why the FBI didn’t interview Julie Swetnick, another Kavanaugh accuser, or any of the more than 40 witnesses provided by Deborah Ramirez, who says the newly minted Supreme Court justice thrust his genitals in her face at a drunken dorm room party at Yale University.