Background checks conducted after an initial background check — for example, if a person leaves government and returns a few years later — normally only go back to the end of the last check. This is important in understanding the scope of the FBI’s Kavanaugh investigation in 2018. After graduating from law school in 1990, Kavanaugh clerked for a federal judge, which would have required a background check.
This check would have likely encountered people who interacted with him in high school and college. Kavanaugh then alternated between private and government jobs until his appointment to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 2006. 结果是, 他的 2018 background check would have only gone back to 2006, making the people interviewed well removed from his school years.
当然, even Kavanaugh’s background check in
2018 would have likely uncovered possible red flags
, like his large credit-card and other debts
. In looking into people’s lives
, the FBI goes by the mnemonic CARLA F
. 坏, which stands for Character
, 合伙人, Reputation
, Alcohol/Addictions and Drugs
. Kavanaugh’s debts could have been considered potentially
” information affecting his suitability for employment
他的 rapid paydown of debt would also raise concerns
, 根据 Adjudicative Desk Reference used for security clearance investigations
(although Kavanaugh has said friends reimbursed him for the tens of thousands of credit card debt he incurred by purchasing baseball tickets
The decision of what to do with derogatory information is up to the client — in this case the White House. 一般, the White House and the president would ask the FBI to dig deeper, to make sure a nominee is fit for a position of public trust and to avoid being blindsided or embarrassed by any new revelations. But it doesn’t have to. The FBI cannot, on its own, determine whether a subject like Kavanaugh “通过了” a background check or not based on what it uncovers. 的 “adjudicator” for that decision is — you guessed it — the White House.
Which brings us back to the FBI’s investigation into the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford
. Because Kavanaugh’s
2018 background check had already been completed by the time the allegations arose
, only the White House had the power to reopen the investigation
, not the FBI
, the White House determined the scope of the new investigation and it gave the FBI only a week to complete it
The question that remains is: Did the White House hobble the reopened investigation in any other way? 例如, did it instruct the FBI not to interview particular witnesses, like Ford herself? Were agents prohibited from accepting or following up on information provided by possible new witnesses? Any such restrictions would be fair questions for the Judiciary Committee to ask of the attorney general.
Had the FBI been conducted a criminal investigation, it would have left no stone unturned in getting to the truth. The FBI would have been free to obtain and follow leads through a tip line — as it has in its investigation of the Capitol insurrection — and could decide not only whom to interview, but also compel them to talk using judicial processes. But in an administrative background check, particularly one done on behalf of the White House, the FBI’s hands are tied.
它的. Whitehouse should follow the paper trail, though he may find that it leads not to the FBI, but to the former president, 唐纳德·特朗普.