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Here Are 5 Reasons Why the FBI Investigation of Brett Kavanaugh Is a Joke

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No sooner had Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that he planned to vote for the confirmation of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court than he declared, on September 28, that his support of President Donald Trump’s nominee was conditional: Flake requested a limited, one-week investigation of the sexual abuse allegations that Palo Alto University psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford had made against Kavanaugh at her September 27 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But truth be told, the FBI investigation being conducted this week is unlikely to change the outcome of the nomination. If anything, it is a public relations ploy designed to give the so-called “undecided” Republicans in the Senate—namely, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins—an excuse to vote for Kavanaugh. And more than likely, Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be rammed through the Senate despite all the sexual abuse allegations being made against him.

Here are five reasons why the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh being conducted this week is a joke and a sham.

1. The Investigation Is Brief and Superficial, Not Comprehensive

The FBI investigation of Kavanaugh taking place this week isn’t meant to be a criminal investigation like the Russia-related investigation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been conducting. It is meant to be more of a background check, and the standards that apply in the Supreme Court nomination/confirmation process are much different from the standards that apply in a criminal trial. But even as a background check, the FBI’s Kavanaugh-related investigation has been a joke. A week isn’t nearly enough time for the FBI to seriously investigate Kavanaugh’s history and all the allegations being made against him.

2. The Investigation Gives ‘Undecided’ Senators an Excuse to Vote for Kavanaugh

For supposedly “undecided” Republicans like Flake, Collins and Murkowski—and possibly, Blue Dog Senate Democrats such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp as well—the FBI’s investigation is the best of both worlds. An investigation this brief and superficial is unlikely to produce any startling new revelations, but it will still give Flake, Collins and Murkowski a chance to claim that Kavanaugh was subjected to FBI scrutiny and passed with flying colors. Manchin and Heitkamp, both of whom voted for the confirmation of Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, in 2017 and are seeking reelection in the 2018 midterms, will likely make the same claim and join Flake, Collins and Murkowski in a “yes” vote for Kavanaugh. But in reality, the FBI scrutiny being applied to Kavanaugh this week is cursory at best.

3. The FBI Should Have an In-Depth Conversation with Julie Swetnick

Christine Blasey Ford is not the only woman who has made sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh. Deborah Ramirez, his second accuser, alleges that when she became intoxicated at a Yale University dorm party in the early 1980s and was lying on the floor, Kavanaugh placed his penis in front of her face—and the allegations of Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, are even more disturbing. Swetnick, a client of attorney Michael Avenatti, alleges that Kavanaugh helped organize parties where women were drugged and gangraped, including herself in 1982. Given the severity of Swetnick’s allegations, the FBI should have a long, in-depth conversation with her. But on Tuesday, October 2, Avenatti complained that Swetnick had yet to hear from the FBI.

4. This Is an Investigation on Trump and Don McGahn’s Terms

Trump, on Twitter, has insisted that the White House isn’t imposing any limitations on the FBI’s Kavanaugh-related probe. But in reality, the terms of the investigation are being dictated by Kavanaugh’s allies—namely, Trump and White House Counsel Don McGahn. Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler has warned that if a real investigation doesn’t occur, Democrats will need to conduct a Kavanaugh-related probe of their own if they regain control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 6.

5. Potentially Valuable Tips Are Being Ignored

Tad Low is a 52-year-old New York City resident who attended Yale University during the same period of time as Kavanaugh and offered the FBI a potentially valuable tip—and when he spoke to the New York Daily News on October 1, Low asserted that the FBI had been giving him the runaround. Low alleges that during the 1987/1988 academic year, he witnessed something “shocking” at a party held by Kavanaugh’s fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. In a real investigation of Kavanaugh, the FBI would be taking a very close look at Low’s allegation—not giving him the runaround.

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Romney’s ‘Pathetically Weasel-Worded’ Defense of His Vow to Vote for Trump SCOTUS Pick Mocked and Destroyed

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U.S. Senator Mitt Romney is being highly criticized Tuesday, after he announced he will vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, even before the candidate has been named.

CNN’s take is that Senator Romney’s “backing of Supreme Court vote paves way for election-year confirmation.”

Romney said he would vote for any nominee who is qualified, although he struggled to define what the term meant to him.

Many are attacking the Utah Republican Senator for green lighting Trump’s unnamed SCOTUS nominee despite voting to impeach the president.

Former Dept. of Defense communications official:

Sen. Romney also made several remarks, both to reporters (video below) and in a statement, that are provably false.

“The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own,” Romney said in a statement.

Journalist Joan McCarter points out that’s false.

Civil rights attorney Sasha Samberg-Champion blasts Romney for cloaking a purely political decision in the rule of law.

Historian Kevin Kruse:

Reporter and analyst for Inside Elections, Jacob Rubashkin, notes just how false Romney’s claim is that America is a “center-right” nation – and embarrasses him in the process:

As does journalist Jay Willis:

Romney’s false claims that the Supreme Court has been liberal for years is also easily debunked as “utter nonsense” – by Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at a conservative think tank:

And by this HuffPost journalist:

More:

Image via Shutterstock

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Romney: I Will Vote to Confirm Trump SCOTUS Nominee if Qualified

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U.S. Senator Mitt Romney says he will vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to hold the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if that candidate is qualified.

The Republican from Utah says a “liberal court” is “not written in the stars,” and implied his decision to buck fairness and Republican precedent is based on helping to mold a “center-right” Supreme Court – which it already is.

He also falsely claims the nation is “center-right.”

Two Republicans have said they will not vote before the election. Democrats need four Republicans to not vote before the inauguration.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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‘Shaping Policies’: Trump Official in Charge of Personnel at HHS Has Been a College Senior – Report

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The Trump administration put a college senior in charge of personnel at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Catherine Granito. She appears to have graduated this spring.

A Politico report Monday afternoon, “Trump administration shakes up HHS personnel office after tumultuous hires,” revealed the stunning placement – including that she has been “playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

HHS has an annual budget of $1.286 trillion. As of 2015 it had 79,540 employees.

“White House Liaison Emily Newman and her deputy Catherine Granito will be shifting full-time to the Voice of America’s parent organization, the United States Agency for Global Media, HHS chief of staff Brian Harrison told senior staff on Monday,” the Politico article states.

It adds that “Granito — an undergraduate at the University of Michigan as recently as this spring — had been in charge of the health department’s personnel while playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

Granito’s LinkedIn page says she attended the University of Michigan until May as a student athlete playing lacrosse and notes she majored in English language and literature. A Google search shows that page listed her as an “advisor” at HHS.

Her Facebook page says she “Works at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

The recent Michael Caputo scandal appears to have involved Granito.

“Granito, who was in the class of 2020 at the University of Michigan, was involved in political appointees’ recent scrutiny of CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, a career civil servant. Caputo and his team raised concerns about Schuchat this spring after she publicly acknowledged missed opportunities in the nation’s response to the coronavirus.”

 

Image: Official White House Photo of HHS Sec. Alex Azar and President Donald Trump by Tia Dufour via Flickr

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