Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
The Trump White House is reportedly standing in the way and halting the start of an FBI investigation into theÂ sexual assault accusationÂ against Trumpâs Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
According to Bloomberg, the FBI needs a request from the White House before it can launch a probe into the allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey FordÂ when they were both in high school.
But the White House has not given the green light for the FBI to look into the matter, and the agency canât move forward until it has permission.
Kavanaugh is accused of sexually assaulting andÂ attempting to rapeÂ Ford at a party when she was 15 and he was 17. Although FordÂ first spoke of the allegationsÂ years ago and contacted the Washington Post tip line in July, the allegations were not made public until last week out of concern for her privacy.
Then, on Sunday, Ford came forward and made the courageous decision to allow her identityÂ to be made publicÂ for the first time.
The FBI had already completed its initial background investigation of Kavanaugh before the allegations surfaced, but there is mounting pressure on the agency to perform a more thorough investigation in light of the new and disturbing revelations.
But unlike criminal probes, âFBI background investigations are conducted under specific procedures and through requests from government agenciesÂ â which in Kavanaughâs case would come from the White House,â Bloomberg reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
And with the Trump White House at the helm, investigating sexual assault accusations isnât exactly high on the priority listÂ â or on the list at all.
For its part, the FBI is reportedly well equipped for such investigations. According to Bloomberg,Â âthe bureau is accustomed to doing professional background investigations, even when the evidence is thin.â
Ronald Hosko, a former senior FBI agent who is now the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, told Bloomberg that an investigation of this nature is well within the purview of the agencyÂ â but they canât move forward if the White House refuses to issue a request.
In cases like this involving background investigations, âthe FBI is basically working for the White House,â Hosko said. âTheir job is to dig into the details and let the White House counsel know if there is derogatory information.â
He said it would make sense for the FBI to investigate the allegation, and noted that the agency could start by interviewing Kavanaugh and Ford (separately), then searching for additional witnesses and looking for corroborating information.
âYou can go get yearbooks and start interviewing high school classmates,â he explained. âFor creative-minded FBI people, they can generate leads all day long.â
In other words, allowing the FBI to vet the allegations against Kavanaugh could yield corroborating evidence â and thatâs a risk Trump is apparently unwilling to take.
Instead, he and his allies in Congress and right-wing media have decided thatÂ launching a smear campaignÂ aimed at discrediting Ford is the safest option.
After all, you canât find evidence if you donât look for it â but that doesnât mean the evidence canât find you.
Published with permission of The American Independent.