In the wake of last-minute allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, lawyers for the accuser and Senate Democrats have loudly demanded there be a full investigation of the claims by the chief law enforcement agency in the nation, the FBI.
But the alleged crimes described by Kavanaugh’s accuser don’t fall under the FBI’s federal jurisdiction, and are instead a state-level crime. And according to The Daily Caller, Kavanaugh’s accuser has yet to file a police report on the alleged incident with local authorities.
No police report
California professor Christine Blasey Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh groped and attempted to undress her while drunk at a small high school party in Maryland in the early 1980s.
Not being a federal crime, sexual assaults must be reported to the local authorities, which, in this case, is the Montgomery County police — but that hasn’t occurred.
A spokesperson for the Montgomery County police, Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that her department has not yet received any sort of official complaint from Ford or her attorneys.
Innocenti added that the department stood ready to investigate any sort of claim of sexual assault that was properly filed with them.
Not in FBI’s jurisdiction
Ford’s attorneys have apparently decided not to go that route. Instead, they insist on a federal investigation of the vague allegations by the FBI, which they want to be concluded prior to Ford delivering her sworn testimony to the committee.
“A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” reads a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley from Ford’s attorneys, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz.
The committee countered, however, saying that Ford’s claims are not within the FBI’s jurisdiction. They also asserted that the committee’s investigators are perfectly capable of conducting a thorough investigation, as is their Constitutional duty in such a case.
“We have no power to commandeer an executive branch agency into conducting our due diligence,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a response to Banks and Katz. “The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone.”
What Ford’s attorneys are essentially asking for is an investigation from an executive branch agency on an executive branch nominee. This undermines and upends the Constitutional role of advice and consent on executive branch appointees by the legislative branch. It also violates the principle of separation of powers between government branches.
This is also quite obviously a delay tactic designed to prolong Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and possibly keep him off the Supreme Court. Were it not specifically intended to interminably delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Ford’s attorneys would have already filed a complaint with the proper authorities and would support the committee’s own investigation into the matter.
By failing to do so, Ford’s lawyers are only making it harder on her, Kavanaugh, and everyone else. Shameful.