James Comey on Sunday criticized the one-week window allotted to the FBI to investigate sexual assault accusations lodged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, writing in an opinion piece for The New York Times that the deadline was “idiotic” but better than nothing.
“It is idiotic to put a shot clock on the F.B.I.,” said Comey, the former FBI director fired by President Donald Trump last year.
“But it is better to give professionals seven days to find facts than have no professional investigation at all. When the week is up, one team (and maybe both) will be angry at the F.B.I. The president will condemn the bureau for being a corrupt nest of Clinton-lovers if they turn up bad facts. Maybe Democrats will similarly condemn agents as Trumpists if they don’t. As strange as it sounds, there is freedom in being totally screwed. Agents can just do their work. Find facts. Speak truth to power.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination with the caveat that the FBI conduct an investigation into claims made against the judge, a request made by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
Comey said the FBI is up to the task despite the limited window.
“It’s not as hard as Republicans hope it will be.
“F.B.I. agents are experts at interviewing people and quickly dispatching leads to their colleagues around the world to follow with additional interviews. Unless limited in some way by the Trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days, if necessary.”