Although Donald Trump has followed through with his promise to allow the Senate Judiciary to do “whatever they need” to conclude its confirmation process for his nominee Brett Kavanaugh by ordering the FBI to proceed with an investigation of the allegations against the federal judge, he has apparently constrained the FBI to such a limited scope that even those close to him who described the order to NBC News have expressed concerns that it may “make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.”
The FBI will be allowed to speak to those involved in the initial accounts described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and by Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez. However, the law enforcement agency is forbidden from pursuing leads related to the claims made by Julie Swetnick, the client of high-profile attorney Michael Avenatti.
Trump’s experience with Avenatti thus far has been limited to his representation of Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was illegally paid off by the President and his former lawyer Michael Cohen immediately before the 2016 election. The first time Trump ever even mentioned Avenatti in public was just days ago on his Twitter account, when he decried the charges leveled by his newest client Swetnick:
Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
Ramirez’ lawyer has confirmed that the FBI has already made contact with her.
Trump’s attempt to keep the Swetnick charges out of the conversation about Kavanaugh may backfire in a big way, however. The day after Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Judiciary, Avenatti tweeted that he has plans other than simply letting his client’s accusations go ignored by the Senate and law enforcement:
Because @realDonaldTrump and the Senate Republicans refuse to allow my client Julie Swetnick to testify, we will be taking her story directly to the American people this weekend. This is about a search for the truth. Details to follow.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 28, 2018
Today, he expressed outrage at the news that the White House was attempting to define whose claims were and were not credible:
Trump has now determined that he and he alone will be the sole arbiter of whether a woman’s claims of sexual assault and misogyny are credible. Why even have an FBI investigation? I thought it was their job to make this determination. He and Kavanaugh are afraid of the truth.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 29, 2018
Avenatti couldn’t be more correct — Trump and the entire GOP are deathly afraid that this investigation will derail the nomination of a judge they know will do their bidding.
Featured image via screen capture