Senior Trump administration officials insisted Sunday that the White House is not “micromanaging” a new FBI background check of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and that senators are dictating the parameters of the investigation.
President Donald Trump initially opposed such an investigation in the face of sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh, but the president and Senate Republican leaders agreed to an inquiry after Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) made clear he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh without one.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said White House counsel Don McGahn, who is shepherding Kavanaugh’s nomination, “has allowed the Senate to dictate what these terms look like, and what the scope of the investigation is.”
Counselor Kellyanne Conway said the investigation will be “limited in scope” and “will not be a fishing expedition. The FBI is not tasked to do that.”
The precise scope of the investigation remained unclear. Trump told reporters Saturday that the FBI “is all over talking to everybody” and that “this could be a blessing in disguise.”
Lawyers for P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser, two others who Ford said were in the house when she was attacked, have said their clients are willing to cooperate “fully” with the FBI. An attorney for Keyser reaffirmed her previous statement that she doesn’t know Kavanaugh and has no recollection of ever being at a gathering or party where he was present, the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement Saturday night.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), said last week that he understood that the FBI would investigate all of “the outstanding allegations, the three of them,”.