FBI is ‘treading on eggshells with Kavanaugh investigation’ as it braces for avalanche of political attacks and accusers’ lawyers say agents are ‘not being thorough’

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

The FBI is conducting a week-long background check into Brett Kavanaugh
While probe is usually routine, sources say agents are being ‘very careful’ in the knowledge that they will likely be highly scrutinized afterwards
FBI is expecting to be attacked from Dems and GOP over findings, sources add
Lawyers for Kavanaugh’s accusers have accused bureau of not being thorough
Meanwhile Mitch McConnell says results of the probe will not be made public

3 October 2018

The FBI is attempting to negotiate a political minefield as it carries out what would typically be a routine background check into Brett Kavanaugh, sources say.

Background interviews are typically conducted by lone junior agents, but in Kavanaugh’s case experienced staff are being dispatched in twos or threes, the Washington Post reports.

Bureau staff ‘are being very careful with each other’, a source told the paper, full in the knowledge that their actions will come under a huge amount of scrutiny.

Other law enforcement officials said the bureau is expecting to be attacked by either or both sides of the political spectrum, depending on what the probe does or doesn’t turn up.

Joseph Campbell, a former FBI assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division, told the paper that the agency will likely fall back on process as a way of avoiding controversy.

‘They’re not going to form an opinion about what they identify, they’re simply going to report that information,’ he said. ‘What happens from there is not in their control.’

Even as the probe was getting underway this week, partisan bickering had already started – with Democrats suggesting the White House had limited the scope of the probe, while President Trump denied it.

Now lawyers for two of Kavanaugh’s accusers – Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez – have raised concerns about the thoroughness of the investigation.

Ford accuses Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at a party in the 1980s, while Ramirez says he exposed himself to her at a similar event.

On Wednesday, Ford’s lawyers wrote to Christopher Wray, the FBI director who is overseeing the probe, to express surprise that agents had not yet interviewed her.

‘It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you,’ they wrote.

Meanwhile the lawyer for Ramirez confirmed that three agents had arrived to conduct a ‘detailed and productive interview’ with her on Sunday, saying she supplied a list of 20 witnesses who could corroborate her story.

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