FBI doesn’t have approval to talk to Ford or Kavanaugh for investigation: report

The FBI has not received clear authority from the White House to interview Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh or Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexual assault, Bloomberg reported Wednesday afternoon.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter told the publication that the White House believes that hours-long testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week is sufficient.

The legal team for Ford, a college professor in California, told The Hill as recently as Wednesday afternoon that they have yet to hear from the FBI as part of its investigation into her allegations against Kavanaugh.

{mosads}President Trump on Friday called for the FBI to conduct a “supplemental” investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, saying it would be limited in scope and should be finished within one week.

“We’re going to allow the Senate to make the determination of the scope,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday when asked about limits the FBI investigation.

Sanders said that Trump has “also asked that the Senate be the ones that determine the scope of what they need to make a decision on whether they vote Kavanaugh up or down.”

Sanders said both Ford and Kavanaugh had been questioned by senators “in the most public way possible” last week, an indication the White House believes it is not necessary for the FBI to question them again. 

The White House had initially narrowed the scope of the FBI’s investigation into sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh, people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News on Saturday.

But on Monday the White House reportedly permitted the FBI to interview anyone deemed appropriate in its investigation after Democrats criticized the administration for “micromanaging” the probe.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and attempting to remove her clothes during a house gathering in 1982 when both were in high school. Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegations.

– Jordain Carney contributed

Tags Donald Trump

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