Frank Figliuzzi, former Assistant Director of the FBI, joined Ari Melber on The Beat on Monday night to discuss the latest news regarding sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. One of the biggest questions the media has had is why the FBI can't investigate these claims. We learned a lot about the investigative process during this interview:
MELBER: Should the FBI be investigating this claim, Frank?
FIGLIUZZI: Good question. This is unlike anything else the FBI does, a background investigation is neither a criminal investigation nor a counterintelligence or national security investigation. You have a client, when you conduct a background investigation, and your client is the agency from which the nomination comes. In this case, the client is the White House. To complicate things even further, this background investigation was closed. So now, as opposed to a pending allegation rising during a pending allegation, the client has to ask you to reopen it.
MELBER: Right. I'm going to jump at the risk of oversimplifying things, the FBI is sort of working with the employer to call references. So viewers would then wonder why are the people most critical, the Democrats, leaning on the FBI to do this? Do you think there's misunderstanding how to adjudicate it?
FIGLIUZZI: I think it's got to be crystal clear that the FBI needs to get the request from the White House, not from the Senate, not from the House, not from the Department of Justice, but the client in this case, and not getting that request, Ari, is a little bit like the fire department in your hometown calling the Mayor and saying they see smoke coming from the city council building, and the Mayor says thanks for the call, but let's let the city council figure out whether the building is on fire. That can't happen.
As has been said, having the best law enforcement investigative agency in the United States finish what they started. They started the background investigation. Take the handcuffs off. Let them get to the bottom of it in an objective, nonpartisan way. Am I thrilled about the notion of FBI agents investigating a high school incident 30 something years ago? No, I'm not. but it's moved well beyond that, into a situation where the nominee has categorically denied doing this. so now it goes to the heart of his veracity.
So will the White House order the FBI to investigate their very own hand picked nominee? Will Donald Trump risk losing the very judge he handpicked almost certainly because of his previous comments regarding sitting President's not being able to face charges or subpoena? Will Donald Trump, man who has been accused by 17 women of sexual assault himself, and a man who supported Roy Moore, accused pedophile, take any reports of sexual assault seriously? No, never, not a chance.