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White House Blocks Investigation Into Julie Swetnick Accusations Against Kavanaugh

The White House has reportedly blocked the FBI from investigating the sex assault claims by Julie Swetnick against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as it seeks to severely limit the scope of the potentially explosive probe.

NBC News reported that White House counsel Don McGahn, a strong supporter of Kavanaugh, specifically barred the law enforcement agency from investigating the claims of Swetnick, who is Jewish.

Trump denied ther report, tweeting “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”

The FBI will probe some aspects of Kavanaugh’s alleged misconduct, including seeking corroboration for the dramatic claims of Christine Blasey Ford that he tried to rape her during a high school party in 1982.

Agents have already contacted Deborah Ramirez, who says the future judge exposed himself to her during a party when they were classmates at Yale, her lawyer said.

But NBC said the FBI will not look into claims by Swetnick that Kavanaugh helped drug women at several high school parties in the early 1980s. Swetnick said in a sworn affadavit that she and other women were sexually attacked by several men at the parties.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti quickly denounced the decision as an effort by Kavanaugh’s supporters and President Trump to block the FBI from finding out the truth.

The White House counsel’s office reportedly told the FBI it could only interview certain people, sources told NBC. The limits may hinder law enforcement from uncovering significant new information against Kavanaugh.

Sen Jeff Flake voted Friday to advance the nomination out of committee. But he won a pledge from the GOP to support the FBI investigation before the entire Senate votes on Kavanaugh.

“[I] spoke to a few other Republicans who are supportive [of an investigation] as well,” Flake said.

Shortly after, Republican leaders agreed to his demand and said they would delay the vote by at least one week. President Trump then called for a “limited” probe.

The probe was supposed to look into all “credible” claims against Kavanaugh but it is unclear how authorities are determining which allegations fit that bill.

Avenatti tweeted earlier in the day that Swetnick would take her allegations about being the victim of “gang rapes” at parties attended by Kavanaugh “directly to the American people this weekend” if action was not taken.

Despite her claims, Swetnick was not called to testify publicly before the Senate committee. But Kavanaugh did briefly address her allegations during his testimony, calling her accusations “a joke, a farce.”

It was not immediately clear how Swetnick might address the public or if Avenatti would seek any legal action apart from speaking with FBI investigators.

A spokesman for the Montgomery County, Maryland, police department, where the high school parties were said to have taken place, said none of the accusers have spoken to investigators.

There is no statute of limitations preventing Kavanaugh from being charged criminally.

Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York police cold case investigator, told the Forward that investigators would be unlikely to find enough evidence to charge Kavanaugh in any of the alleged attacks, which took place more than three decades ago.

The first thing FBI agents might want to do is get a handwritten statement from Swetnick, especially since her typed affidavit may have been done with Avenatti and therefore more easily called into question.

“People tend to write a lot more than they want to reveal. You’d be surprised, sometimes people try to filter out what they say but they don’t filter out what they write [by hand],” Giacalone said.

A leader in an organization working to end violence against women and children said it’s important for investigators to understand how to best interview people who have been the victims of assault.

“When people remember traumatic events they often have vivid memories of key parts when their ‘fight or flight’ system is active,” Futures Without Violence director Kiersten Stewart told the Forward.

“Our memories don’t exist like a video recorder. You can’t expect someone to be able to tell you the exact order of events in an exact timeline from beginning to end.”

Stewart added that the FBI should have some of the best trained sexual assault investigators.

“They’re not necessarily going to come to a conclusion, but they are going to get the best information [for the Senators]. And that’s what everyone wants out of this.”

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