A lot of interviews with George Papadopoulis this weekend. He now wavers on what kinds of reactions he got from T 'n Co. He is willing to push Sessions under the bus, but he is more sympathetic to T. Looks like he is still holding out for a pardon.
Mr. Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison, fined $9,500 and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and one year of probation after his release from custody.
His actions were central to the beginning of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia’s attempt to disrupt the 2016 presidential election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates conspired with the effort.
“I was perhaps the light that created this conflagration,” Mr. Papadopoulos told The Times.
MAZZETTI: And you said Sessions seemed quite enthusiastic about the prospect.
MAZZETTI: And Trump nodded.
PAPADOPOULOS: Nodded — noncommittal, but I mean, of course, to defer to Jeff Sessions and to ask Jeff’s opinion. The way I saw it was, at least, he was perhaps open to the idea, but he wanted to defer to what was then a very senior senator in the Congress.
NRA ties are more direct with Putin, with Mariia Butina acting as a go-between. Represents endless funding and active measures.
Correspondence obtained by ABC News reveals Mariia Butina appearing to arrange a meeting for high-ranking members of the NRA with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and working to develop a TV show highlighting Putin’s “love of the outdoors.”
Quinnipiac Poll on whether Americans believe Trump is honest
based on the question
“Would you say that Donald Trump - is honest, or not?”
Poll: Trump’s ratings on honesty, intelligence decline
President Trump’s ratings on character traits such as honesty and intelligence from voters have declined to their lowest since November 2016, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.
Trump got “his lowest grade for honesty since he was elected,” and also received the lowest rating since November 2016 on a question about the president’s intelligence, according to the poll.
Breaking: New CNN/SSRS Poll:
Trump approval: 36%
Trump unfavorable: 61%
Trump “honest & trustworthy”: 32%
“Proud” of Trump as POTUS: 32%
“Cares about people like you”: 36%
Trump will unite country: 30%
Respects rule of law: 37%
Preet Bharara responds to Giuliani’s message today that T was not involved w/ any collusion.
Preet Bharara Retweeted Rudy Giuliani
So truth isn’t truth but anonymous sources which Trump says should never be believed can nonetheless exonerate him. Ok.
According to sources close to Manafort defense: “The coooeration agree does not involve the Trump campaign…There was no collusion with Russia.” Another road travelled by Mueller. Same conclusion: no evidence of collusion President did nothing wrong.
8:16 AM - 15 Sep 2018
My personal interpretation is that K. T. McFarland lied to the FBI, the press, and to congress, but so far, has managed to wiggle out of it (unlike Flynn who will do time for it).
Here’s the part where McFarland lied to the FBI:
A former top White House official has revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, after her initial claim was contradicted by the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to people familiar with the matter.
K.T. McFarland, who briefly served as Flynn’s deputy, has now said that he may have been referring to sanctions when they spoke in late December 2016 after Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, these people said.
When FBI agents first visited her at her Long Island home in the summer of 2017, McFarland denied ever talking to Flynn about any discussion of sanctions between him and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 during the presidential transition.
Here’s the part where McFarland lied to the press (lying to the media is not actually illegal, but shame on you, K.T.):
Early on the morning of Jan. 13, 2017, McFarland phoned one of the authors of this article to rebut a column in The Washington Post, which said Flynn and Kislyak had spoken “several times” on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced it was expelling 35 Russian officials and taking other punitive measures. . . .
McFarland insisted in an on-the-record conversation that Flynn and Kislyak had never discussed sanctions and that they had actually spoken prior to the administration’s announcement on Dec. 29.
Here’s the part where McFarland lied to congress:
In July 2017, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked McFarland in writing whether she had spoken to Flynn about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the transition.
“I am not aware of any of the issues or events as described above,” McFarland replied.
And, finally, here’s the part where we, the general public, are still in the dark, but Mueller must have all the answers, based on Flynn’s cooperation:
McFarland’s account does not answer the question of what the president knew or didn’t know about Flynn’s interactions with the ambassador. . .
In light of McFarland’s recent admission, it’s telling to revisit WaPo’s reporting on McFarland’s leaked emails back in December, 2017. Those emails openly discussed the fact that Flynn would be talking with Russian ambassador, Kislyak, regarding sanctions.
The emails were shared among top members of Trump’s inner circle. Trump had won the election, but was not yet President – these people would later occupy key positions in his administration. And that’s the crux of the problem here – Obama was still President, but these non-governmental citizens were acting as if they were the government and were usurping Obama’s position as President.
In addition to K.T. McFarland (Flynn’s future Deputy NSA), the people privy to her emails included: Flynn (future NSA), Reince Priebus (future Chief of Staff); Steve Bannon (future Chief Strategist), Sean Spicer (future Press Secretary), and Tom Bossert (future Homeland Security Advisor).
(Side note: All of those people have either resigned or been fired – just a reminder of the volatility of this administration. Or perhaps a sign that the administration felt the need to establish a distance from potential witnesses?)
It’s inconceivable to me that none of these close advisors would have shared with Trump the fact that Flynn would be talking with Kislyak about sanctions. At least one of them must have mentioned this crucial upcoming parley – the Russian sanctions were all over the news at the time as was Trump’s infatuation with Putin.
When President Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions.
But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia.
. . . It is evident from the emails — which were obtained from someone who had access to transition team communications — that after learning that President Barack Obama would expel 35 Russian diplomats, the Trump team quickly strategized about how to reassure Russia. . . .
As part of the outreach, Ms. McFarland wrote, Mr. Flynn would be speaking with the Russian ambassador, Mr. Kislyak, hours after Mr. Obama’s sanctions were announced.
“Key will be Russia’s response over the next few days,” Ms. McFarland wrote in an email to another transition official, Thomas P. Bossert, now the president’s homeland security adviser. . .
“If there is a tit-for-tat escalation Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him,” she wrote.
Mr. Bossert replied by urging all the top advisers to “defend election legitimacy now.”
So looks like Dr. Ford has complied with coming in to speak on Thursday of this week. We are seeing a big PR push against her, with denials from those who were named in attending that party, and another woman today Leland Ingham Keyser, made a statement from her lawyer, denying she knew of this circumstance. (Mark Judge and another have denied any knowledge of the event and/or party.)
Dr. Ford has hired a communications person, and is being prepped by her lawyers and also Rikki Klienman, a lawyer and media figure to help prep her as well. Ford has been sending out her people to give interviews and getting positive press as well.
We already have seen the GOP machine attack this contentious claim they say, and they want their boy in that seat, damn the consequences.
But it looks like someone from the State of MD. or rather Montgomery, MD’s Police dept will investigate any claims, keeping this option open for Dr. Ford.
This rather He said/She said ‘testimony’ we are anticipating on Thursday, mirrors the political discussions of late - everyone deeply entrenched in their lane, and damn the consequences. Women believe Dr. Ford, and enlightened men do too.
The stain of this deep polarization into blaming the victim is going to follow Kavanaugh around, possibly unseat him. But that maybe wishful thinking.
OK, this could be nothing, but I’m posting it for confirmed MIJ’s like myself (Mueller Investigation Junkies). So far we have no idea what went on during this visit – it could have just been something routine related to Cohen’s case – or it could have been a meeting with investigators. Who knows? Let’s put a pin in it.
It’s interesting that it did not seem to appear on any docket – I’m just assuming this because if it had been part of the court’s published schedule, you’d think the media would have been there in droves and this would have been much more widely publicized.
Michael Cohen has paid an unannounced visit to the federal courthouse in New York where he pleaded guilty a month ago.
Cohen left the building at around 1:30 p.m. Friday, declining to say why he was there.
In the run up to the Judicial Committee hearing with Christine Blasey Ford coming forward to speak about the events in the early 80’s with Judge Kavanaugh, his team is carefully prepping him for any type of question, which he appears to be prickly about. Some reporting from the Washington Post describes how Kavanaugh is being groomed for this.
There are questions too about why he has spent 3 days working with WH Don McGahn who specifically is setting up the 9 hours sessions. So much for any distance from the WH with the appearance of impartiality.
Other comments about this process below.
…An array of White House aides, playing the role of various senators on the Judiciary Committee, quizzed Kavanaugh last week about his sex life and other personal matters in an attempt to prepare him for a hearing that would inevitably be uncomfortable.
In his answers during the practice runs, aides said, Kavanaugh condemned sexual assault and carefully avoided seeming to discredit Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in Northern California who has accused the nominee of pinning her to a bed, groping her and putting his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a drunken high school party in the early 1980s.
But Kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life, particularly his drinking habits and his sexual proclivities, according to three people familiar with the preparations, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. He declined to answer some questions altogether, saying they were too personal, these people said.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Kavanaugh said at one point according to a senior White House official, who said that the questions were designed to go over the line and that he struck the right tone.
The tense preparations underscore the monumental stakes of public testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford, who signaled on Saturday through her lawyers that she has accepted the Judiciary Committee’s request to speak about her allegation next week, though there is no final agreement and Republicans viewed the response as a delaying tactic.
And yes, there could be some more flies in the ointment.
Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer (and Michael Avenati) are investigating another woman at Yale…
As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”
The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.
In a statement, Kavanaugh wrote, “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.”
Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)
A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
Based on Avenatti’s track record, we can probably expect some additional announcements soon. Avenatti’s claims tonight are in addition to the allegations relating to Ford and Ramirez.
In an email to Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Avenatti said he had evidence that at house parties in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh, his friend Mark Judge, and others plied women with alcohol and drugs “in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”
This is an excellent article that, I believe, contains the most comprehensive and up-to-date reporting on the accusations against Kavanaugh (as of Sunday night, 11:55pm EDT). Things are evolving so quickly here that this will probably be “overtaken by events” as we move into Monday!
After reviewing details of the allegations related to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the article covers the newest allegations announced by Avenatti tonight:
. . . Michael Avenatti, a well-known Democratic lawyer, said he represents “a woman with credible information” about Kavanaugh and his high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford alleged was in the room with her and Kavanaugh at the time of the alleged assault. Avenatti posted on Twitter that he has “significant evidence” that Kavanaugh and Judge “would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs.”
Avenatti told POLITICO he represents a group of individuals who can corroborate allegations involving Kavanaugh and his longtime friend in the 1980s.
Avenatti said he’d describe just one of the individuals as a victim.
“She will testify,” he said. “But before she does, she will likely appear on camera for an interview.”
He said the others were witnesses to the allegations. Avenatti would not elaborate on the number of clients but said he represents them alone.
“I represent multiple clients, they are witnesses. I’m representing multiple individuals that have knowledge of this, there’s no other attorneys involved,” Avenatti told POLITICO. Asked if the witnesses attended Georgetown Prep’s sister school, he said they went beyond that. “They went to schools in the same general areas. These house parties were widely attended.”
My heart goes out to Deborah Ramirez. This whole experience must be gut wrenching. I’m sure this is absolutely not something she wanted to revisit – and certainly did not want to be thrust onto the national stage at the same time. Just like, Dr. Ford, we owe her so much for having the courage to come forward.
At the same time we are supporting those who are testifying to the truth, I feel we should also be shaming the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (especially the chairman, Chuck Grassley) as well as the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
The events surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation process are diverging into two separate, but related stories. First, we have the story of the accumulating allegations that point to appalling acts by the nominee. If even just a portion of these are substantiated, they will certainly disqualify him from a seat on the Supreme Court. Second, we have the evolving story of the Republicans’ shameful behavior as they attempt to ram through this confirmation, blowing past so many red flags. Have they no sense of decency? Have they no respect for our fundamental judicial processes?
These two sentences in Farrow and Mayer’s report are especially damning:
Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote.
So when Republicans discovered that more allegations were pending, instead of putting on the brakes to allow time for a thorough examination, they actually tried to speed up the process and push Kavanaugh onto the court before the rest of the committee and the general public react. Disgraceful. Grassley, in particular, should be removed from the committee and, furthermore, expelled from the Senate. Corrupting the sanctity of the Supreme Court confirmation process should be treated as an impeachable offense.
And on top of this, Mitch McConnell persists in referring to the confirmation as if it’s already a done deal. What’s the point of even having Dr. Ford testify if the Senate Majority Leader has already pre-judged her? In this one-minute clip of his remarks, it’s stunning to see his total lack of respect for the confirmation process (and, although he doesn’t directly mention her, it’s obvious he also has no respect for Dr. Ford). To ensure we appoint a person of the highest moral character, the proceedings must be fair, balanced, and meticulously thorough – but no, McConnell declares the Senate is just going to "plow right through it."
R’s are fast tracking it, regardless of fair proceedings, and casting aside piles of doubt as to Kavanaugh’s character over time.
Since Kavanaugh has categorically denied ALL accusations, and R’s won’t engage in any further fact finding, we have truly lowered the bar on any degree of fairness and decency to support his ‘innocence’ by taking the position that any accuser of Kavanaugh must therefore be a liar. R’s are blaming the victim, and the Dems for ambushing the proceedings at the 11th hour, again damn what it is they are or will be saying.
The R’s just need this nomination to get into the Supreme Court badly. They need it for the midterms, their evangelical base, and to keep conservative protections in the future. McConnell is holding sway over this process because at this juncture he CAN, and he MUST for his party’s sake. But there is not justification aside from party to use his bullying tactics, and full court press to do so.
Kavanaugh’s reputation is going to be forever besmirched by all these accusations. It positively does NOT pass the smell test. He now needs to save face.
Bad news always travels fast…Kavanaugh is by all the reports enveloped in a sea of unseemly details that are indeed damning.
Here’s an interesting article by Benjamin Wittes (the BOOM prognosticator and writer for Lawfare) who knows Kavanaugh and does like his skills as a lawyer and judge, BUT has reservations as to how this confirmation process can continue.
I have known Brett Kavanaugh for a long time—in many different contexts. I am fond of him personally. I think the world of him intellectually. I don’t believe he lied in his Senate testimony. I don’t believe he’s itching to get on the Supreme Court to protect Donald Trump from Robert Mueller. I’m much less afraid of conservative judges than are many of my liberal friends. As recently as a few days ago, I was cheerfully vouching for Kavanaugh’s character.
If Kavanaugh were to ask my advice today—and to be clear, he hasn’t done so—I would tell him he almost certainly should have his nomination withdrawn. The circumstances in which he should fight this out are, in my view, extremely limited. I would advise him against letting Senate Republicans ram his nomination through in a fashion that will forever attach an asterisk to his service on the Supreme Court. Assuming she is not impugning him maliciously, Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, deserves better than that. The Court deserves better than that. And Kavanaugh himself, if he is telling the truth about his conduct in high school, deserves better than to be confirmed under circumstances which tens of millions of people will regard, with good reason, as tainted.
Let’s start with a blunt reality: The sum of the allegations against Kavanaugh is, if true, disqualifying. On both left and right, commentators have suggested that the assault allegation alone is not grounds for Kavanaugh’s rejection—even if true. Let’s leave for another day the question of whether that’s right. The allegation does not present on its own. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the incident took place. That means that if it did take place, he is either lying about it now or, short of that, perhaps has no memory of the matter. The former is certainly disqualifying. The latter, even if Kavanaugh’s memory is genuinely and honestly impaired and he actually believes the incident never took place, cannot be distinguished publicly from the former. Though Kavanaugh has been careful not to slime Ford, his denial of the incident impugns her anyway, which is legitimate if his denial is accurate. It will not do, however, to impeach her credibility wrongly and then ask for confirmation to the highest court in the land because the false denial was not intentionally false. If the allegations are true, Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed.
CNN’s Laura Jarrett now says that Rosenstein discussed resigning with Kelly on Saturday, conditions, timing, etc., but did NOT resign. The WH did not agree to some or all of those conditions. Now he’s headed over to the WH after being summoned and expects to be fired.
Yes, there’s always a snag in what can be investigated…and what can not. Hmmm.
White House limits scope of the FBI’s investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh
The FBI has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, a White House official confirmed to NBC News.
by Ken Dilanian, Geoff Bennett, Kristen Welker, Frank Thorp V, Hallie Jackson and Leigh Ann Caldwell / Sep.29.2018 / 1:33 PM PDT
WASHINGTON — The White House is limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, multiple people briefed on the matter told NBC News.
While the FBI will examine the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the bureau has not been permitted to investigate the claims of Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s, those people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. A White House official confirmed that Swetnick’s claims will not be pursued as part of the reopened background investigation into Kavanaugh.
Ford said in Senate testimony Thursday that she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. Ramirez alleged that he exposed himself to her when there were students at Yale. Kavanaugh has staunchly denied allegations from Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick.
The limited scope seems to be at odds with what some members of the Senate judiciary seemed to expect when they agreed to give the FBI as much as a week to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh, a federal judge who grew up in the Washington DC area and attended an elite all-boys high school before going on to Yale.
President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the FBI has “free reign” in the investigation. “They’re going to do whatever they have to do,” he said. “Whatever it is they do, they’ll be doing — things that we never even thought of. And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”
“If both parties speak with passion and clarity, but one of them says many inconsistent, evasive, irrational, and false things, then we actually have a very good indicator of who is telling the truth…”
This is the latest reporting as of Sunday, 4:20pm EDT. I’m saying this because the reporting here has vacillated. Early reporting yesterday was that the scope of the investigation was limited – then Trump came out at said, no, the FBI has “free rein.” But now the reporting is back to where it was originally – in fact things are looking even worse. According to CNN, the investigation is very narrow in scope and the FBI has been forbidden to pursue many highly relevant leads. Not only that, the investigation is actually being run by the White House legal counsel, Don McGhan! Bottom line: Trump has lied to us yet again. This investigation is shaping up to be a massive whitewash.
The FBI investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is narrowly focused, top officials said in interviews on Sunday, with sources telling CNN that the White House is controlling the scope of the probe.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that the FBI would take its direction from the White House, not the Senate, and that the agency would interview a handful of people.
Kavanaugh’s drinking history, the source said, which has come up in the allegations, is not part of the probe, which was being managed by the FBI’s security division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
But the probe must include Kavanaugh’s drinking history because this is an area where it was obvious that Kavanaugh perjured himself. Unfortunately, the fact the perjury was “obvious” is not enough – we must have the corroborating evidence; we must have the proof – it is out there and the FBI can easily uncover it through interviews with Kavanaugh’s classmates.
We must also have proof that Kavanaugh lied under oath when he testified to the meaning of various cryptic references in his yearbook entry. He can’t be allowed to get away with those lies. They are very specific cases of perjury and, in and of themselves, they are enough to disqualify him. However, we must have the proof and the FBI can provide that if they are simply allowed to do their job without obstruction.
While President Donald Trump declared Saturday that the FBI would have “free rein” in its investigation, people close to the matter say the scope is far more limited. White House counsel Don McGhan, who is the administration’s leading advocate for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, is overseeing the probe for the President and working closely with Senate Republican leaders.
So which is it – does the FBI have “free rein” or are they being tightly controlled by the President and his White House counsel? This just plain stinks.
The source reiterated that the agents would make no conclusion about what witnesses tell them and would hand their results over to the White House, which is standard protocol in similar background investigations. The source would not say if the direction the FBI received listed specific people or if it was to investigate specific allegations.
What is the chance that the White House will only make public a cherry-picked selection of findings from the report? 100%.
Contrast the CNN reporting with what Sanders and Conway are saying:
Senior Trump administration officials insisted Sunday that the White House is not “micromanaging” a new FBI background check of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and that senators are dictating the parameters of the investigation.
“The White House isn’t intervening. We’re not micromanaging this process. It’s a Senate process. It has been from the beginning, and we’re letting the Senate continue to dictate what the terms look like,” Sanders said.
The Committed didn’t agree to an investigation directed by the Senate; it agreed to an investigation directed by the FBI. Furthermore, the CNN reporting says that it’s not even being directed by the Senate, it’s being directed by the White House! – see the 2nd paragraph of the CNN article above.
Counselor Kellyanne Conway said the investigation will be “limited in scope” and “will not be a fishing expedition. The FBI is not tasked to do that.”
But investigating Kavanaugh’s drinking history is not “fishing” – it is directly relevant to whether or not he perjured himself.
Trump told reporters Saturday that the FBI “is all over talking to everybody” and that “this could be a blessing in disguise.”
“They have free rein. They’re going to do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do. They’ll be doing things that we have never even thought of,” Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to West Virginia. “And hopefully at the conclusion everything will be fine.”
He revisited the “scope” question later Saturday on Twitter, writing in part, “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”
According to the CNN reporting (which I give far more credence to than the claims from the White House), Trump is once again flat out lying to us.