Michelle Ruiz, Vogue October 4, 2018
The FBI’s so-called “investigation” into Brett Kavanaugh is complete, and according to Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, the as-yet confidential report reveals “no hint of misconduct” by Trump’s Supreme Court pick, former Keg City Club treasurer, and BFF of Tobin and Squi. The wheels are already in motion: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who previously vowed to ”plow [Kavanaugh] right through” any opposition) has set up a preliminary vote for Friday, which, if he has the votes, will be followed by a final vote over the weekend. None of this is surprising, because the FBI probe was never really intended to unearth the truth about Kavanaugh.
From the beginning, the “investigation” was a way for retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake—and Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins—to perform some light moral gymnastics that gave the appearance of doing their due diligence on the publicly divisive nomination. Hilariously, Collins and Flake have already called the investigation “very thorough,” when it was anything but. Regardless, the probe has now served its purpose for Republicans: By drastically limiting its time and, more importantly, its scope, the FBI investigation has turned up likely very little. It doesn’t really clear Kavanaugh. But it does clear Republican consciences, paving the way for them to vote for a partisan judge with an unstable demeanor multiply accused of assault, and still sleep at night.
Flake said last week that he believed it would be “proper” to delay the full Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh pending an FBI investigation. But a proper investigation is not what the Senate got. Really a supplemental background check, the report had a firm one-week deadline from the get-go; the entirety of it ended up spanning a whopping three business days. Exactly six people were interviewed, all of whom had previously released statements making their memories (or lack thereof) crystal clear. A majority (four) of them were Kavanaugh’s high school friends: Mark Judge, P. J. Smyth, Tim Gaudette, and Chris Garrett. One was Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s high school friend, Leland Keyser, who has said she doesn’t remember the night of the alleged assault, but believes the allegations. The sixth interviewee was Kavanaugh’s second accuser, his Yale classmate Debbie Ramirez, who alleges he drunkenly waved his penis in her face.
More notable is who the the FBI didn’t interview: first and foremost, Dr. Ford, whose absence from the proceedings prompted condemnation from her attorneys, who said that any investigation that did not include her or the witnesses who corroborate her testimony “cannot be called an investigation.” In fact, of the three women who have come forward against Kavanaugh, the FBI only talked directly to one—Ramirez—while also ignoring Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, who alleges Kavanaugh and Judge groped women against their will and lined up as part of gang rape “trains” in high school. The FBI also declined to speak to some Yale classmates of Kavanaugh’s, who said they reached out to the FBI to corroborate some of the allegations, and to suggest Kavanaugh had been lying under oath, as well as to refute Kavanaugh’s tearful, downright hysterical insistence that he wasn’t a blackout drunk in his youth. One, Chad Ludington, told *The New York Times,,* “If he lied about his past actions on national television . . . I believe those lies should have consequences.” Us too! But guess what, Chad? They will not.
An investigation ordered by the Trump White House that was limited in what and who it could investigate was over before it ever began. It is absolutely no coincidence that authorities spoke overwhelmingly to Kavanaugh’s friends and didn’t bother to talk to anyone attempting to back up the accounts of the accusers. (We’ll wait for Jeff Flake’s calls for proper, civilized, bipartisan procedure.) This is particularly gutting with respect to Dr. Ford, who risked her reputation, her privacy, her family’s safety—everything, really—to come forward in the public interest of sharing that the man likely to be the country’s next Supreme Court justice assaulted her in 1982. Her attorneys may have spoken for many people when they said in a statement: “We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth.”
The sham investigation followed a sham hearing, as put on by the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee—which allowed only Ford and Kavanaugh to speak, but neither of the other two accusers—staging an epic he said/she said . . . only to shrug and decry the lack of evidence unearthed in that very he said/she said. Flake and others are just pretending to want the truth, when what they really want is an alibi; to stick by conservative supporters while dabbling in a little political theater for the CNN crowd. He—and Flake and Murkowski—are now free to vote their consciences. And rest assured, come November, so will we.