The Sham Investigation to Give Republicans Cover

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

On Friday, after Republican Senator Jeff Flake stood in front of cameras and made an expression that vaguely resembled human compassion and then called for an FBI investigation into the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, I tweeted: Please let us not pretend that Jeff Flake was motivated by anything but the optics, which are marginally improved by calling for a sham investigation of a man whose alleged abuse is but one of many reasons that he is unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

Naturally, I was accused of being ungrateful, uncharitable, a bitch. And, just as predictably, I was also right.

The investigation is not designed to uncover truth or seek justice; it is designed to give cover to Republicans who want to be able to cast a vote for Kavanaugh and justify it by saying that no credible allegations were corroborated by a federal investigation.

They want to be able to say that there's no "proof" that Kavanaugh ever harmed any women, and they're banking on the fact that most people are eminently willing to discount the eyewitness testimony of victims in sexual assault cases, in a way they would never discount eyewitness testimony provided by victims in other crimes, because of the pernicious narrative that lying women routinely invent rape allegations.

So, the investigation is a sham.

Mike DeBonis and Josh Dawsey at the Washington Post report: Fight over Kavanaugh Intensifies Amid Confusion over Limits of FBI Sexual Assault Investigation.
The FBI investigation meant to defuse the explosive conflict over Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sparked a new round of partisan combat Sunday, as the White House appeared to retain sharp limits on the probe even as [Donald] Trump and Republican officials publicly suggested otherwise.

Two Trump administration ­officials said Sunday that the White House had not placed any limits on the FBI investigation into claims of sexual assault leveled against Kavanaugh but was also opposed to a "fishing expedition" that could take a broader look at Kavanaugh's credibility and behavior.

...Amid the confusion, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, wrote to McGahn and FBI Dir­ector Christopher A. Wray on Sunday asking for a copy of any "written directive" sent to investigators.

Other Democrats warned over the weekend against too many limits on the purview of the in­vestigation.

"They ought to be doing multiple investigations at the same time," Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), a Judiciary Committee member, said in an MSNBC interview Saturday. "There are multiple allegations currently in front of the committee, and I think it is not hard to figure out the universe of witnesses. It is not 500. It may not be 50. But it has to be more than five."

...The squabbling added to the swirl of public confusion over the parameters of the FBI inquiry and who is setting them. The order to the FBI was signed by Trump but has not been made public. White House officials have sought to lay responsibility for the details on either the Senate or the FBI.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted: "NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!"

But that contradicted the directive the FBI had actually received: "The president's Saturday tweet also sparked confusion in the FBI, which had previously been told to conduct only a limited investigation of particular allegations, a person familiar with the matter said. It was unclear Sunday whether there had been more communications between the White House and the FBI clarifying what agents should look into."

In typical fashion, Trump is publicly tweeting one thing, while something else entirely different (and far more sinister) is going on behind the scenes.

And Jeff Flake was called a hero for days, for orchestrating this horseshit.

This has been another terrible edition of Cassandras Who Aren't Inclined to Extend Good Faith to Known Liars Being Shouted at by Very Important Media People Who Remain Dangerously Credulous, Only for the Cassandras to Be Proven Right Again.

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