The first full day of an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh lapsed into controversy as reporting broke that the White House had severely limited the scope of the inquiry. The assistant press secretary at the White House denied the reports, but several news agencies stood by them, noting that Kavanaugh’s drinking history and the gang rape allegations made by attorney Michael Avenatti’s client were among many items excluded from inquiry. Avenatti took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that the FBI has not reached out to him yet. Then Trump stated at a rally that the FBI had no limits.
It’s hard to know which version is the truth, but it’s easy to imagine accused sexual assaulter Donald Trump grandly approving an FBI investigation and then sabotaging it behind everyone’s back. That’s the kind of sleazy stuff he is known for. So expect a rising uproar from the Democrats and sexual assault survivors if it becomes clear that the investigation will be a sham.
One thing already clear is that Kavanaugh’s testimony on Thursday was full of lies. Witnesses came out of the woodwork yesterday describing him as a fall-down, slurring, mean-spirited drunk, and social media yesterday was full of commentary about all the items from his high school yearbook that he mis-characterized or flat-out lied about. Taken as a whole, the “choir-boy-student-athlete-never-had-time-to-party” persona he tried to sell to the Senate was a farce. He may have been an extraordinary student, but he was also an extraordinary partier and drunk. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The key to the whole Kavanaugh clusterf*ck will be Senator Jeff Flake. If he thinks the FBI investigation is too narrow, he can refuse to vote for Kavanaugh or demand a delayed vote until the White House expands the FBI’s scope. He’s the one activists need to pressure, and calling Senators Gillbrand and Schumer would be a good start.
Let’s also hope that Avenatti holds a press conference and presents his evidence if the FBI fails to investigate his client’s allegations. Avenatti is a showman, and he seems to like the limelight, but he has been very careful and credible with allegations in recent months so it seems unlikely that he would get behind a case that he didn’t think was legitimate and provable.
Meanwhile Rep John Faso seems to be standing by his call to confirm Kavanaugh, remaining silent about Jeff Flake and the FBI investigation. As with so many other moments of national importance, Faso either says the wrong thing or nothing. Faso consistently delivers the opposite of leadership.
Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso and elect Antonio Delgado…