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Ash writes: "Jeff Flake's mildly courageous acquiescence to demands by protesters and Democrats to slow down the Kavanaugh march induced euphoria on the left on Friday. It may have been premature."

Judge Brett Kavanaugh turns contentious during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to hear evidence that he sexually assaulted then Christine Blasey in 1982. (photo: Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)
Judge Brett Kavanaugh turns contentious during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to hear evidence that he sexually assaulted then Christine Blasey in 1982. (photo: Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

The FBI Kavanaugh "Investigation" Is a Joke and the Democrats Know It

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

01 October 18


eff Flake’s mildly courageous acquiescence to demands by protesters and Democrats to slow down the Kavanaugh march induced euphoria on the left on Friday. It may have been premature.

Flake has forced an expanded FBI background check of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but the scope is so limited that it’s hard to imagine a result different in substance or effect from the report the FBI produced for George H.W. Bush and the Senate Judiciary Committee at the height of Anita Hill’s challenge to Clarence Thomas.

The report had no effect then and it’s not likely to have any effect now because the probe the FBI is conducting is not a real criminal investigation, the fact that real crimes have been reported notwithstanding.

In a real criminal investigation, the investigators go where the evidence takes them. There is no “limitation” to the scope per se. The simplest analogy for a real criminal investigation is the police officer who pulls over the motorist for speeding and observes contraband inside the vehicle. The contraband is fair game, and criminal charges may result. The investigation goes where the evidence takes it.

How limited is the scope of the FBI’s Kavanaugh probe? So limited, in fact, that they will not even interview Julie Swetnick regarding her allegations of criminal conduct by Brett Kavanaugh and others, or any of the several witnesses that corroborate her account. In fact, the probe is constrained to four witnesses, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. That’s not an investigation designed to uncover facts. It’s a sanitization and a whitewash.

Swetnick will not be the only accuser ignored by the FBI’s “one week only” probe. The mother of a fourth woman wrote a letter to Colorado senator Cory Gardner, a Republican, describing a sexual assault that her daughter and at least three other women witnessed. The incident, according to the letter, happened outside a Washington DC bar and involved Kavanaugh aggressively and non-consensually forcing himself against one of the women in the group while heavily intoxicated.

The letter writer opted to remain anonymous, but if the FBI were allowed to conduct a real investigation, which they are well capable of, the author, the victim, and all of the witnesses could be identified and interviewed. But none will be.

Breaking News: Donald Trump is lying.

When Donald Trump says the FBI will have “free reign” to conduct a full and thorough investigation, his words, unsurprisingly, stand in stark contrast to his actions. In fact according to The New York Times:

The White House will decide the breadth of the inquiry … The White House can order investigators to further examine the allegations if their findings from the four witness interviews open new avenues of inquiry … Investigators will interview one of the witnesses, a high school friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s named Mark Judge, about Ms. Swetnick’s accusations … The inquiry, which will last no more than a week, is a limited background check of Judge Kavanaugh, not a full-fledged criminal investigation.

So it’s readily apparent, Donald Trump holds all the cards, and he wants Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, as do the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Democrats, for their part, are well aware of all this. Sure, it’s great to see the Democrats celebrate the restoration of a modicum of regular order. But the silence from the Democrats on the reality of this toothless process is deafening. Right now this has Anita Hill redux written all over it. Where’s the outrage?

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

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-18 # indian weaving 2018-10-01 09:48
This current b.s. investigation is pretty much the same tripe as is Mueller's Democrats' Russiagate: total b.s. but from the other side of the aisle. That characterizes our current government: 100% b.s.
+26 # NAVYVET 2018-10-01 11:58
Mueller's "fake" investigation of Russiagate, which I was highly skeptical about to begin with, would NOT have resulted in indictments, plea bargaining and convictions. I use the scientific method and choose to believe in anything because of its probability, and Now I'm a believer in Russiagate. Even some of the Russians involved in it are making interesting public statements about their involvement with Trump's intimate team--therefore with the Unpresidented Presidential candidate himself.

Oh, my dear--I do hope you believe in the Holocaust, in Obama's birth certificate, Darwinianism and the Law of Gravity! As for believing in what the government says, that depends on the government, doesn't it? Some are for us, some are only for the rich. Right now both party establishments are solidly for the rich, but we can gradually change that, starting on November 6th.

PLEASE don't come back and ask what's happening on November 6th!
-2 # dquandle 2018-10-01 21:45
"but we can gradually change that, starting on November 6th."

Only by getting rid of BOTH parties an prosecuting and imprisoning their leaderships, elected officials and major candidates.
+51 # Jim Rocket 2018-10-01 10:24
In a healthy democracy Kavanaugh's disgusting display would have ended his nomination on the spot. Clearly American democracy is on life-support and Kavanaugh was nominated to help pull the plug. Sad!

Also, I'm baffled as to why perjury is acceptable behaviour in the USA.
+22 # WBoardman 2018-10-01 21:25
Actually, in a healthy nation of any sort,
Brett Kavanaugh would never be nominated.
+16 # dquandle 2018-10-01 21:47
because its a criminal country, run by and for criminals.
+38 # librarian1984 2018-10-01 10:39
Even this constrained investigation can be effective because one of the four people on their list is Mark Judge, who can sink Kavanaugh all by himself if he decides to tell the truth.

There are also plenty of people coming out to say Kavanaugh lied about his drinking.

We have one week. While the FBI investigates we should also be hearing from Kavanaugh's cohort and colleagues. Hopefully his performance on Thursday alarmed them enough they'll be willing to come forward.

Temperament alone, and his threats to use his seat to exact revenge, should be enough to nix his bid.

Also I've heard people say he's already been through six background checks so what more could they find. Typically these background checks do not extend to a person's minority, so they would not look at high school. With these accusations they will.

I'm disturbed their investigations did not find his drinking problem, though, which seems to be well in place by the time he went to college.

Kavanaugh is the poster child of entitled white male privilege, and a particularly ugly example.
+11 # lfeuille 2018-10-01 19:55
Yes, if Flake and Collins keep their word, any lie will kill the appointment and he definately lied about his drinking. There are enough witnesses to prove at least that. But I'm not confident they won't fold when push comes to shove. It would be better to get him for sexual assault as well.

I don't think the original investigation was allowed to find out about his drinking, or not allowed to report it.
+7 # dquandle 2018-10-01 21:49
it would be best to get him for war crimes, intimidation, attempted rape, perjury, and support of torture.
+29 # Elroys 2018-10-01 10:45
Is it time for the revolution yet?
November 6th - vote, vote for ANYONE with a "D" in front of their name and we must flush vast majority of R's into their own toxic cesspool. These are extraordinary times with our nation in real danger of falling apart and becoming more violent than ever. We must get rid of these most corrupt R's ASAP. November 6th
+35 # rxfxworld 2018-10-01 10:52
Totally agree with Marc Ash. That this is Kabuki theater by Democrats, along with Republicans--or rather Trumpian Republicrats,of course, is belied by two data points. 1) Failure of any Democrat to push back and demand the nominee apoligize for calling the process and by implication them , disgraceful, and 2) What kind of lawyer (they're all lawyers)asks a question in cross examination to which he/she doesn't know the answer. "Boofing" and "the Devil's Triangle" are sexual terms eAsily found on the internet. When Kavanaugh lied in saying the former was farting and the latter a drinking game, he ought to have been caught out. Instead his narrative went hardly challenged. This shows either the fix is in or Democrats are completely incompetent. One thing I believe: Al Franken wouldn't have played this game. His questions of Jeff Sessions led to Sessions' recusal and to Mueller. But Schumer and Gillibrand wanted him out of the way of their ambitions. So we're here with a probable drunken sexual predator, a Tom Buchanan headed for SCOTUS.
+20 # chrisconno 2018-10-01 13:22
Are you aware that there was a time limit of only five minutes per questioner? I think the democrats on the Judicial committee, the minority, were fairly stunned by Kavanaugh's belligerent thrashings. With so little time to ask the prepared questions, much less the questions that were arising as a result of his idiotic responses(denia ls) the dems had little time to formulate the best, mot effective approach. They were also having to weather repubs accusing assaults of the very process the repubs had bastardized.
+9 # dquandle 2018-10-01 21:52
they are idiots if they didn't believe he would try, and succeed, in running the clock out on them, but they were too craven to demand more than 5 minutes. Basically, he's just one of them, a vile brutal entitled monster, and they needed to go soft on him, just as they did for Roberts and Alito, when they were being confirmed.
-10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-01 12:35
Marc --"So it’s readily apparent, Donald Trump holds all the cards"

I think the worm has turned. I think Kavanaugh is too damaged and Trump is now looking for a way to gracefully get rid of him. He's be a bad look on the court. To me, I think the charges are false, but that really does not matter. They are never going away. I think the Democrats have won this time.

As Marc says, the FBI does not at present have any plans to interview Ford. Rachel Mitchell's report is now out and it makes all of the real problems in her story pretty apparent. Mitchell says the case would not be prosecutable. If someone like the FBI were going to try to investigate this, they'd have to start with Ford and all the changes, contractions, and gaps in her story. They'd have to make it work.

But I don't believe that is necessary. I think Kavanagh is finished, he's done. Trump just needs to find a positive way out. The FBI may give him that.
+20 # pmargaret7 2018-10-01 14:42
Your words sound good and even possible from a certain viewpoint. But Drumph NEVER gives up!
Oh how I wish he would, but is not part of his hardwired mechanisms! Kavanaugh should be disqualified because of his temperament and the way he treated many of the Democratic Senators. I heard him speaking/yellin g over Patrick Leahy and I was aghast. Sooo disrespectful! And the smug way he chose not to answer several of the questions by just sitting there and not speaking! Not even saying that he would not answer, but just not saying anything and leaving the questioner hanging and asking again! Im sure that as a Judge he would never allow someone being questioned to act like that. ANSWER THE QUESTION! This was especially obvious when Durbin asked him about his feelings towards an (FBI) investigation. He started to talk and then totally shut-up leaving Durbin to splutter and repeat himself. Such arrogance and disrespect from someone who is himself a Judge! I totally agree that he should not be voted in on his manner alone. He is crude and has the gall to ask Klobuchar if she has had black-outs from drinking! His diatribes about how much he loves "beer" were disturbing. He doesn't even seem to know how to act like an adult, despite his so-called accomplishments . And the fact, alone, that he was willing to take his family, including his daughters, through this shows he has no judgement at all! They will live forever with their father being known as a "pervert" judge!
+10 # dbrize 2018-10-01 15:39
Trump doesn’t have to give up. He can nominate someone else, (Amy Coney Barrett?), blame the Dems for ruining a “good mans” career and dare the Dems to take down this wonderful female jurist.

And, just so our readers (those that actually deal in reality at least) I am and have been from the beginning, opposed to Kavanaugh.

The greatest mistake TDS afflicted make is that Trump is dumb. No way. He knows his base, he knows how to manipulate the news, he knows how and why he won the election. And he knows that the more he can keep his opposition entranced with dreams of impeachment, culture wars and divisions, the easier it will be to maintain his position.

We read here and elsewhere from the same people over again that Trump is disgusting. Earth to Democrats: tell us something we didn’t know.

Like how will you dismantle the national security state, restore our Constitutional, protections from illegal searches and spying. End the global war making. Reform our criminal justice system. There is a long list of things need done.

But no, we don’t hear much about these things. Could it be the Feinstein’s, Durbin’s, Schumer’s, et al, are just fine with them? Yep.

Political theater for the masses; Kavanaugh is a product of the swamp, so was Garland and so will be the next one. All know the script. Obey the MIC and our masters. But make it entertaining while doing it.

While our script writers beg for money.
+8 # lorenbliss 2018-10-01 18:25
Well said, comrade.
+7 # dquandle 2018-10-01 21:54
+14 # janie1893 2018-10-01 14:15
R.R.---You are wrong. Kavanaugh is guilty!!
And in spite of Trump and all the Republican senators, women will be heard!!

-9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-01 19:21
Janie -- this is why he is permanently damaged. Half the people will always believe he is guilty. They will believe the victim.

For me, there are too many holes in Ford's story. I think she believes herself but also that she's been deluded by -- maybe -- too much psychotherapy, too much self pity, too much depression.

We'll have to wait to see what the FBI turns up. The only new information now is the report from Rachel Mitchell, which is good about pointing out the changes in her story over time.

For example, by the time of the senate hearing, she'd pinned down the time to Summer of 1982. Originally in her letter, she said "mid-1980s" when she was in her late-teens. The problem there is that Kavanaugh was already out of high school and gone. So the time got push back to 1982 and the detail about Judge working at the Safeway. But that detail comes from Judge's book. Clearly her lawyers found it and told her to bring it up as a way to find a firmer date and to prompt the FBI. My guess is that Judge will say he did not meet her at the Safeway. Or he won't remember.

Women are being heard. More now than ever. But there are false memories and false charges. These are truths and no woman should endorse false accusations.
+21 # Mainiac 2018-10-01 14:47
Does it occur to anyone else that Kavanaugh’s behavior after lunch indicates he may have had a drink or two during the break? His belligerence and nastiness seems typical of the behavior that friends ascribed to him when he had been drinking. Also, his inability to control his emotions.
+1 # June2018 2018-10-01 15:04
This isn't meant to be a criminal investigation. The FBI doesn't have jurisdiction, as the crimes alleged aren't federal crimes. There's no statute of limitations, so if Ford wanted to pursue criminal charges, she could do so locally. The FBI does background checks on nominees, and that is the context of this investigation. They will look into the allegations that surfaced after their initial background check was complete.
+8 # lorenbliss 2018-10-01 15:57
I have no doubt Kavanaugh will be named to the court, just as I have no doubt the resultant ChristoNazi theocracy will be the end -- forever -- of any further pretense of USian "democracy."

Which means the best we can hope for now is liberation a la 9 May 1945 == which is of course delusional because with the Soviet Union gone, there is no longer anyone force on this planet capable of saving us from ChristoNazism and its End Times agenda.

Hence two asides:

Firstly, thanks to Marc for another damn fine piece of reporting.

Secondly, to rxfxworld, it was obvious to me the fix is in from the moment Feinstein got caught attempting to suppress the Ford testimony:

What we all need to be doing now`-- all of us in the 99 percent (but most especially non-Christians, women, LGBTQ people and people of color) -- is (1) recognizing that the Democratic (sic) Party is naught but the Republicans' enabling apparatus and (2) planning our next moves.

That said, our greatest causative tragedy is that most of us are too cozened by Capitalism to imagine how permanently lynch-mob awful life in this country will soon become.

You can bet that were I younger and healthier -- not crippled by arthritis and not terminally ill -- I'd be seeking political asylum somewhere.

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