September 29, 2018

UPDATE: NBC News reports the White House has put heavy restrictions on who the FBI investigation is permitted to interview.


Joy Reid's panel discussed what we can expect from the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh.

"Kavanaugh give a statement on Friday saying, 'Throughout the process I've been interviewed by the FBI, I've done a number of background calls directly with the Senate and yesterday I answered questions under oath about every topic, I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate," Reid said.

"'That's fine. but if the FBI decides they want to go back and investigate something and let's say one of those questions that he answered under oath turns out to be a discrepancy between that and what he tells the FBI, could he be in trouble for that?"

"Yeah. This could open up essentially a totally separate investigation that would relate to perjury if it's inconsistent with the other details," former FBI agent Clint Watts said.

"This is not the crime-scene investigation Law & Order-type script people are used to from television. This is a background investigation, so this is not going for subpoenas or evidence. This is going and interviewing witnesses and different stories. They might be able to identify places to take an investigation forward, but it's going to be tough to do because the allegations, many of them, are decades old. So it's very difficult to bring that case, particularly if it's just witness system, and a lot of the witnesses might likely not recall anything or may not offer any evidence. they don't actually have to say anything if they don't want to. they can resist it."

"So this is a very different kind of investigation. I think the expectation of the public, some of the ways it's been presented so far, might be misleading to them and what they think is actually going to happen. What I imagine is they'll go talk to these different witnesses. Let's say there's a glaring difference between the two. It will be difficult to prove that Kavanaugh was perjuring himself and giving untrue testimony," he said.

"According to the guidelines we've learned so far, the FBI investigation is not going to come to a conclusion of any kind, they'll just turn over what their findings are to the full Senate, certain Senate aides and to the White House. I want to go to you, Paul, about whether or not there could be some unintended consequences negatively for some of the people involved on this witness list," Reid said.

"Let's look at who could be interviewed. Mark Judge, because he was placed in the room by Christine Blasey Ford. Elizabeth Rasor, Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez who says that he exposed himself to her when he was at Yale. You have Julie Swetnick, we just spoke with her lawyer, Michael Avenatti. This one is the one I want to zero in on with you. She says that Kavanaugh engaged in sexual assault and rape that was taking place when she was there, but she didn't specifically say that Kavanaugh attacked her. You also have a friend of Dr. Ford who said she was present at the same party and a guy named Tim Gaudette and other people listed on the calendar, other friends of his.

"But back to the Swetnick allegation for you, Paul. If, for instance, this FBI investigation interviews her and interviews with her corroborators, who Michael Avenatti says he wants to make available to the FBI, let's just say that uncovered what appeared to be crimes. Could the Maryland district attorney say 'I see crimes here' and prosecute them?" Reid asked.

Paul Butler said yes, because there's no statute of limitations on rape in Maryland.

"Those cases can be brought at any time. For other crimes, say misdemeanor sexual assault, the statute would have expired. I was nodding earlier, Joy, because you're right, other things always come out during these investigations.

"For example, Judge Kavanaugh's yearbook contains what appears to be crude misogynist references. Things like Renate Alumnus, FFF, Devil's Triangle. at the hearing on Thursday, Judge Kavanaugh denied that those had anything to do with sex. What the FBI will do is to go to his prep schoolmates and if he's exposed -- if Judge Kavanaugh is exposed to have been lying on Thursday when he said it wasn't about sex, that's just not about his credibility, it's about whether he committed perjury in front of the Senate.

"There's an open-ended question that the FBI always asks at the end of these investigations: 'Is there anything else you think we should know about this person's character and fitness?'
When Judge Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep and Yale classmates answer that question," that could be a problem, Taylor said.

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