Several would-be witnesses said they've been rebuffed after reaching out to the FBI about Brett Kavanaugh, and former investigators say the apparently limited scope will undermine any effort to gather credible evidence about the Supreme Court nominee.
President Donald Trump and various administration officials gave denied placing limits on the FBI probe, but former bureau investigators agreed Republican senators and the White House had ensured the weeklong process would be extremely narrow, reported the Washington Post.
Attorneys for sexual assault accuser Christine Blasey Ford said the FBI had not yet contacted her, and former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi said bureau sources told him investigators were not planning to do so.
Several former Kavanaugh classmates have also said they encountered obstacles while trying to provide their own accounts of the Supreme Court nominee's drinking and other behavior.
“It’s not an investigation if the FBI is going to accept the dictates of the White House in terms of who you can interview and who you can’t,” said John Mindermann, a former FBI special agent who investigated the Watergate break-in.
Minderman called the limits "ridiculous," and he said the investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference before senators vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.
"It would be grossly incomplete, and it would be unfair to the American public,” he said.
Minderman and other former FBI agents said a complete investigation must include former classmates who could provide any relevant details about Kavanaugh's alcohol abuse, which they said goes to the heart of the allegations against him.
“A complete background check investigation will not be possible without the ability to interview classmates and associates and anybody with knowledge of the circumstances in the time frame in question,” said former FBI agent Dennis Franks. “The circumstances in this matter deal with allegations of extensive drinking and behavior while intoxicated. This would normally be an issue that is addressed.”
Former agents also said the FBI must be allowed to interview potential witnesses such as Mark Judge, who Ford says was present during her assault, and Tim Gaudette, who may have hosted the gathering where the attack took place.
But those two appear to be off-limits to investigators, and Franks said the weeklong probe may make the highly charged nomination even more of a flashpoint.
“An incomplete investigation could create more controversy than it resolves,” Franks said.