The White House is reportedly setting a number of restrictions on the FBI's Kavanaugh investigation — and won't let them investigate Julie Swetnick's allegations
- The White House is reportedly limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into sexual-misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
- NBC News reported Saturday that the FBI will not be permitted to investigate claims by Julie Swetnick, the third woman who has come forward.
- The FBI is also being restricted from investigating Kavanaugh’s account of his own drinking habits, according to NBC News.
The White House has set a number of limits on the one-week FBI investigation into the sexual-misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, NBC News reported Saturday.
Most notably, the FBI has been barred from investigating claims by Julie Swetnick, the third woman who has come forward publicly with decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh.
The FBI, however, has already begun investigating accusations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Ford testified against Kavanaugh in an emotional hearing on Thursday, and Ramirez has alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were students at Yale University.
Swetnick has alleged in a sworn declaration that Kavanaugh was present at a party in the early 1980s where she was gang raped. During his hearing to address the allegations on Thursday, Kavanaugh called Swetnick’s claims a “farce.”
Swetnick is represented by the attorney Michael Avenatti, who tweeted on Saturday that the White House’s restrictions would “undermine the legitimacy” of the entire investigation.
“If true, this is outrageous,” Avenatti tweeted. “Why are Trump and his cronies in the Senate trying to prevent the American people from learning the truth? Why do they insist on muzzling women with information submitted under penalty of perjury? Why Ramirez but not my client?”
Christine Blasey Ford. Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images
According to NBC News, another restriction the White House has set bars the FBI from investigating Kavanaugh’s account of his drinking habits during high school and at Yale University.
Though Kavanaugh denied during his hearing that he had ever drank to the point of blacking out, several of his old Yale classmates have accused Kavanaugh of lying during the hearing, telling news outlets they recall him drinking heavily.
“He frequently drank to excess,” Lynne Brookes, one of Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmates told The New York Times. “I know because I frequently drank to excess with him.”
Another restriction, according to NBC News, is that FBI investigators cannot ask for employment records from the supermarket that employed Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, whom Ford alleges was present during the sexual assault.
Ford testified Thursday that she remembers seeing Judge looking “ill” while he was working at a Safeway during the summer of 1982, weeks after the assault. Ford told the senators she believed Judge’s employment records would help her better recall the time frame in which the alleged assault occurred.
President Donald Trump on Saturday told reporters that the FBI has “free rein” to do “whatever it is that they do” in the Kavanaugh investigation.
“Having them do a thorough investigation, I actually think it will be a blessing in disguise,” Trump said. “It will be a good thing.”
The FBI investigation into Ford’s and Ramirez’s claims came after a dramatic showdown in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, in which Sen. Jeff Flake urged his Republican colleagues to allow a one-week FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations.
Though Flake and the majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move Kavanaugh’s nomination to a full Senate vote, he struck a deal with Democrats to delay the vote for a week while an FBI investigation goes ahead.
It’s unclear whether such restrictions on the FBI were what Flake had in mind when he called for the investigation. Flake’s office did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on Saturday.
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