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Memo to Sen. Whitehouse: FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Followed Protocol, The Facts Hurt Your Cause

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

As Reagan relayed yesterday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – a deeply clownish conspiracy theorist – is demanding an investigation into the FBI's brief cameo in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation circus. You may recall that prior to that final confirmation vote in 2018, Democrats demanded a probe into the entirely unsubstantiated, decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh. A few Republicans relented (I argued this was a smart strategic decision) and agreed to the Bureau conducting some limited interviews. Many of the Democrats screaming the loudest at this point, including the current vice president, had already called on Kavanaugh's nomination to be withdrawn, after a preposterous and debunked accusation about a prep school gang rape ring had been brought forward by later-imprisoned attorney Michael Avenatti and his deranged client. Of the four allegations against Kavanaugh, two were affirmatively refuted, one was based on a completely-unsupported "crowd-sourced" memory, and Dr. Ford's was totally unsupported by any evidence. Indeed, there was no evidence that Ford and Kavanaugh had ever even met.

The FBI's involvement constituted a follow-up on previous background checks, which Kavanaugh had always passed with flying colors. Agents spoke to a handful of alleged "witnesses" and uncovered no evidence implicating the SCOTUS nominee. It was all done by the book, in exact accordance with established protocols. It turned out that the only piece of new or meaningful information that arose from these interviews was the revelation that Ford's allies had bullied a witness. Leland Keyser, Ford's high school friend who was touted as a key witness by Ford's supporters, had been pressured to dishonestly change her story. Because this accusation harmed the anti-Kavanaugh brigade's case, Keyser's bombshell went largely ignored in much of the evidence-hostile press, which had taken sides:


A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn’t corroborate Dr. Ford’s account, according to people familiar with the matter. Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford’s, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said. The statement to the FBI offers a glimpse into how Dr. Ford’s allies were working behind the scenes to lobby old classmates to bolster their versions of the alleged incident, as were Judge Kavanaugh’s...On Thursday, a day after sending to the White House the report on its investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, the FBI sent the White House and Senate an additional package of information that included text messages from Ms. McLean to Ms. Keyser, according to a person familiar with the matter.

More details about the bullying and pressure, via a flashback from The Federalist:

A group text was formed in which [Ford allies] such as Cheryl Amitay and Lulu Gonella discussed how to get her to say something more helpful to the cause. An unnamed man on the text suggested that they defame her as an addict. Keyser has been in recovery for some time, as her friends know and as has previously been reported. Amitay answered, “Leland is a major stumbling block.” While asserting she didn’t want her to make anything up out of whole cloth, she offered ideas for things that could sound supportive of Ford’s story, such as that she’d been in similar situations with Blasey Ford that summer. “I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply,” Keyser told the reporters, a stunning admission of the pressure to which she was subjected to by Blasey Ford’s allies.


To recap, Democrats insisted on a follow-up investigation, and the only information it unearthed regarded witness tampering alleged by Ford's own ally and star witness. And that same star witness ultimately concluded that in addition to lacking any evidence or memories to reinforce Ford's story, she no longer believed Ford at all. This was her quote buried in a book written by New York Times reporters:

We spoke multiple times to Keyser, who also said that she didn’t recall that get-together or any others like it. In fact, she challenged Ford’s accuracy. “I don’t have any confidence in the story.”

Like Ford's own father, Ford's own top witness doesn't believe her allegations, which are unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, contemporaneous or otherwise. I'll also note that Ford's lawyer also later admitted an ideological motive to discredit Justice Kavanaugh's potential rulings on abortion jurisprudence. Sen. Whitehouse looks at all of this and wants to go back and investigate the investigators. Embarrassing hackery. He should focus on getting to the bottom of things that really matter, like the nicknames of drinking games in the 1980s. Because he's obviously incapable of embarrassment.

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