The Trump White House has prevented the FBI from interviewing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford because it hasn’t granted the bureau “clear authority” to do so, reports Bloomberg News.
According to the report, the White House has instead indicated to the FBI that public testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week is “sufficient.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to force the issue and seek explicit approval from the White House to interview Ford and Kavanaugh. And it wasn’t clear why the FBI hasn’t yet talked to other people who have been recommended by lawyers or who have voluntarily come forward — or if the bureau would need explicit approval to talk with them as well.
Confusion has now beset the investigation, fed by conflicting signals over what constraints have been placed on the bureau despite President Donald Trump’s comment Monday that “the FBI should interview anybody that they want, within reason.”
Bloomberg notes that the FBI could close the probe as early as Wednesday and submit its findings to the White House.
“We have no idea if the FBI is doing a real investigation or simply preparing a fig leaf at the direction of the White House for Republicans to vote yes.” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Regarding FBI Director Christopher Wray, Schumer said, “If he’s being constrained by the White House, he has an obligation to let us know.”