'This does not fall under the definition of a real, authentic FBI investigation.'
A former FBI special agent confirmed on Thursday that the background probe into Brett Kavanaugh was not a "real, authentic investigation," thanks to the restrictions imposed by the White House and Senate Republicans.
Speaking to MSNBC's Hallie Jackson, former FBI supervisory special agent John Mindermann called it "very, very problematic" that the investigation was so severely limited in time and scope because it means that the bureau could not look at the full picture of Kavanaugh or the sexual allegations against him.
"It's like taking the brush out of the hand of the painter midway through the portrait session," Mindermann said in reference to the restrictions placed on the FBI investigation, which reportedly included limitations on who FBI agents could interview, what leads they could follow, what areas of Kavanaugh's background they could look into, and how long they could keep the investigation open.
As Jackson pointed out, Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, were among those not interviewed by the FBI.
"Dr. Ford's attorney says because she's not on this list ... this can't be called an investigation; [that] the FBI was not actually seeking the truth," Jackson said. "So John, do you agree? Is this a comprehensive investigation or not?"
"I actually agree that really this does not fall under the definition of a real, authentic FBI investigation," Mindermann replied, noting that the restrictions imposed by Republicans eliminated "a vast majority of people who could have provided corroborating evidence."
He added, "I've done these and I've supervised these — in these investigations, you encourage your agents to go out, cover all bases, run out all leads, develop that comprehensive look so that whoever is looking at this is well versed and can make that judgment call."
But that's not what happened, because Republicans never wanted to know the truth — they just wanted to give themselves cover to go ahead and confirm Kavanaugh.
Mindermann joins a chorus of voices casting doubt on the legitimacy of the reopened background investigation.
As the limitations on the probe were revealed over the weekend, a steady stream of former government officials began to speak out about how much Republicans were deviating from the norm to protect Kavanaugh.
"There isn't a finder of fact in the country that would hamstring investigators like this," said former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer. "It would be comical if it wasn't so important."
As it stands, Republicans are pushing forward with a vote on Kavanaugh and peddling the findings from the FBI as some sort of proof of his innocence — even as the rest of the country sees the investigation as the sham it was.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.