As a Trump White House and GOP leadership plot to rush a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, former White House photographer Pete Souza called them all out on Instagram, highlighting the President's apparent ignorance of the meaning behind the acronym for the FBI.
Souza referenced President Trump's remarks on Tuesday (as reported by CNBC) that . . .
. . . the FBI should not be involved in further investigating the Kavanaugh allegation because, 'they don't want to be involved. It's not really their thing.'
. . . when he explained in his post that:
Because 46 minus 1 says about the FBI, "this is not their thing." The "I" in FBI stands for "investigation."
Souza, a President Barack Obama era photog, shared an old pic of his former boss and former Vice President Joe Biden and their, then Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Back then Republicans refused to consider the nomination, allowing the Supreme Court vacancy to be filled later by President Trump.
Besides Trump, Souza also addressed his post to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — all GOP members who have pushed for Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the lifetime appointment immediately.
Souza also noted:
Even I (and everyone that works at the White House) had two FBI investigations into my background as the White House photographer, though I had never committed a crime. So you don't want the FBI to investigate someone for the Supreme Court about a credible attempted rape allegation? Please explain.
Instagram users agreed with Souza:
Though an investigation into Kavanaugh's attempted rape allegation has not yet been conducted, President Trump appears to be taking him at his word, according to CNBC, even defending his character at a White House press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, where Trump said:
I feel so badly for him that he's going through this. This is not a man that deserves this.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations, and in a letter addressed to the Judiciary Committee, he said he looked forward to testifying "as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name."
"Since the moment I first heard this allegation, I have categorically and unequivocally denied it," he wrote. "I remain committed to defending my integrity."
Attorneys for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the Stanford University professor who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, spoke with attorneys for the Senate Judiciary Committee and laid out conditions for her appearance before the panel.
These conditions, which Dr. Ford's attorneys presented over the course of an hour-long telephone call which marked the first time Republicans have spoken with Dr. Ford's legal team since she went public, are as follows:
- That Dr. Ford not be in the same hearing room as Brett Kavanaugh.
- That she testify on Thursday. (Republicans had given her a Monday deadline; Dr. Ford has said the earliest she can testify is Thursday.)
- That the committee work to ensure that Dr. Ford is safe if she agrees to testify. (Dr. Ford has been subjected to death threats since she went public and she and her family have been forced to leave their home.)
- That she testify second and Kavanaugh to appear first.
- That Kavanaugh not be in the same room at the same time as her.
- That the Judiciary Committee honor her preference not to be questioned by outside counsel, but rather by the senators on the committee.
- That the committee subpoena Mark Judge, whom Ford alleges was in the room at the time the assault occurred.
- That each senator has equal time for questioning. (This is already committee practice.)
- That there not be a time limit on her opening statement.
- That she will appear at a public hearing but she would like to limit the number of cameras to pool coverage.
The GOP is offering to hold the hearing on Wednesday after Ford sought Thursday. The GOP has agreed to limit the hearing to one camera and to ensure that Kavanaugh is not in the same room as her.
Attorneys for Dr. Ford insist that the FBI should investigate her allegation despite pushback from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have signaled Kavanaugh will be "plowed through" the confirmation process.