The good news is that President Trump has authorized the FBI to investigate sexual abuse accusations about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stemming from an alleged high school incident during the 1980s.
The bad news is that the FBI will get only a week to do it. A week! Can you even do a decent enough investigation into the disturbing allegations by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh in that short amount of time?
I reached out yesterday to Philly's own Jerri Williams, who served for 26 years as a special agent with the FBI, and was told that yes, it is possible to make headway.
"They'll assign it to a team of agents. It can be done," said Williams via Facebook Messenger. "The follow-up interviews generated based on what they learn will be the issue."
During her time with the agency, Williams investigated economic crimes and later served as a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia division of the bureau.
"The agents' role will simply be to gather the information. That really is not a problem as long as you can locate the people," she wrote me. "The FBI has 56 field offices and hundreds of resident agencies. Agents throughout the country will be briefed and assigned to interviews in their territory."
Williams, who has a podcast called the FBI Retired Case File Review on which she interviews retired FBI agents about their careers and cases they've worked on, said agents will "review all the statements made by Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh and set leads for everything that needs" to be verified.
Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week.
The 51-year-old California psychology professor said she was "100 percent" certain it was a teenage Kavanaugh who attempted to sexually assault her at a party during high school. Ford alleged that a visibly drunk Kavanaugh had gotten on top of her and put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming before she was able to get away. She said his friend Mark Judge was present.
When it was his turn to respond, Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegation and vigorously proclaimed his innocence.
By the time they finished testifying, it had become a case of he-said, she-said that was sharply divided along party lines. And hovering over it were Ford's disturbing allegations as well as questions
Personally, I can't see what the harm would be. If appointed, Kavanaugh would have a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land. It seems to me that before you give a person a job like that, you shouldn't rush past allegations like the ones Ford made. Every effort needs to be made to see if her claims have any veracity before moving forward.
On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) announced he would vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation provided an FBI investigation into the allegations was conducted. Another Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she agreed with Flake, and President Trump authorized the FBI to investigate