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.

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