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Friday, October 5, 2018

I Also Blame the FBI

There are ample causes of the miscarriage of democracy that happened in the U. S. Senate today - the anti-democratic Electoral College that put Trump in office in the first place (while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote), the anti-democratic set-up of the Senate itself (as Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out on his show The Last Word tonight), with populous and non-populous states getting the same number of Senators - but I also blame the FBI.

Yes, I know that the background investigation the FBI was tasked to conduct is not the same as a straight-up investigation.  I get that background investigations are constrained from the outset.  But given what has been going on in this country, the intense controversy over the charges raised against against Brett Kavanaugh, the FBI had an obligation to either conduct a fuller investigation, or the let Senate and the American people know that the investigation it did conduct was a sham.

Presumably, Senator Flake was not interested in a sham, but a full investigation in which all leads were looked into, when he called for a pause in the confirmation process last week.   Presumably Senator Collins knew that all leads had not been investigated by the FBI when she said today that no one interviewed by the FBI had corroborated Dr. Ford's account.  Or did she?

The point is that there should have been no ambiguity, no wiggle room, in what kind of investigation the FBI conducted.   By allowing itself to be cited as conducting an investigation that Senators relied upon when casting its votes, even though that investigation was obviously incomplete, with interviews of just a fraction of all the potential witnesses who had been brought to its attention, the FBI became complicit in the result, the likely confirmation tomorrow of someone who has been accused of multiple assaults of women, and who obviously has a temperament unfit to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Count yet another part of government that has been compromised in our age of Trump.


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