Earlier this evening, multiple major news outlets reported that Donald Trump had been caught trying to secretly place severe and absurd restrictions on the FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including forbidding the FBI from investigating the claims made by Julie Swetnick. Trump could only have gotten away with this if no one found out until it was too late to matter. Now that he’s been caught, predictably, he’s already begun backing down.
After the news broke, Trump’s Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah released a statement insisting that the FBI was free to investigate any and all aspects of the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Because Trump and his White House have publicly staked themselves to this, Trump is not going to be able to keep the investigation limited.
In fact, because one of Trump’s official spokespeople just publicly told the FBI that it’s free to interview Swetnick, for all we know, the FBI may have taken this as an excuse to call Swetnick right now.
We won’t know what’s going on for sure until Julie Swetnick’s attorney Michael Avenatti announces whether or not she ends up being contacted by the FBI. But Donald Trump and his people just ceded their leverage on this, which isn’t surprising, because they lost most of that leverage when their secret plot was exposed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report