The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Testifying before the Senate on Wednesday, FBI Director Chris Wray confirmed what has already been widely reported — that the White House imposed direct limits on the bureau’s background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh as he faced sexual assault allegations ahead of his appointment to the Supreme Court.

Questioned by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) about the investigation, Wray said the investigation was “limited in scope” under the directions received from the White House.

He added that this was “consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back quite a long way.”

He would not answer whether the FBI was directed to examine whether Kavanaugh lied under oath to the Senate, which many observers accused him of.

During the investigation itself, the White House consistently downplayed its role in circumscribing the investigation to avoid the appearance that it was designed to reach a preordained conclusion. For the sake of the court’s integrity, many argued that the FBI needed to be given a wide latitude to pursue many of the avenues of misconduct alleged against the then-nominee.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had said, “We’re going to allow the Senate to make the determination of the scope,” distancing the president from the process of directing the probe. And President Donald Trump himself had denied the reported limits on the probe, tweeting, “NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”

Watch Wray’s testimony below:

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

 

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close