Oh all right if you insist

The Times has breaking news:

The White House has authorized the F.B.I. to expand its abbreviated investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh by interviewing anyone it deems necessary as long the review is finished by the end of the week, two people briefed on the matter said on Monday.

The new directive came in the past 24 hours after a backlash from Democrats, who criticized the White House for limiting the scope of the bureau’s investigation into President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The F.B.I. has already completed interviews with the four witnesses its agents were originally asked to talk to, the people said.

I don’t know if this is more of the same bullshit we’ve been getting since Friday.

The revised White House instruction amounted to a risky bet that the F.B.I. will not find anything new in the next four days that could change the public view of the allegations. Republicans have resisted an open-ended investigation that could head in unpredictable directions. But the limited time frame could minimize the danger even as it heightens the likelihood that F.B.I. interviews do not resolve the conflicting accounts.

Mr. Trump said he instructed his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, over the weekend to tell the F.B.I. to carry out an open investigation, although he included the caveat that it should accommodate the desires of Senate Republicans. Mr. McGahn followed through with a call to the F.B.I., according to the people briefed on the matter.

I’m sure he’s almost completed dialing the number now.

Mr. Trump ordered the one-week F.B.I. investigation on Friday after Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona and a key swing vote on the nomination, insisted that the allegations be examined before he committed to voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh on the floor. But the White House and Senate Republicans gave the F.B.I. a list of just four people to question: Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth, high school friends of Judge Kavanaugh’s; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford; and Deborah Ramirez, another of the judge’s accusers.

Mr. Flake expressed concern on Monday that the inquiry not be limited and said he had pressed to make sure that happens. “It does no good to have an investigation that gives us more cover, for example,” he said in a public appearance in Boston. “We actually have [to] find out what we can find out.”

In interviews, several former senior F.B.I. officials said that they could think of no previous instance when the White House restricted the bureau’s ability to interview potential witnesses during a background check. Chuck Rosenberg, who served as chief of staff under James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, said background investigations were frequently reopened, but that the bureau decides how to pursue new allegations.

“The White House normally tells the F.B.I. what issue to examine, but would not tell the F.B.I. how to examine it, or with whom they should speak,” he said. “It’s highly unusual — in fact, as far I know, uniquely so — for the F.B.I. to be directed to speak only to a limited number of designated people.”

Unusual and a grotesque abuse of power. Next question?

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